On the heels of an explosive report by the New York Times detailing Facebook’s use of a right-wing public relations firm to spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about its critics, MoveOn.org—which describes itself as “one of the largest political advertisers on Facebook this year”—sent a letter on Wednesday to the social media giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, and congressional leaders demanding accountability and urging the company to commit to fundamental reform.
The letter was written by Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn Political Action, and Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn Civic Action.
“We were surprised to learn last week that Facebook corporate leadership had hired a right-wing firm specializing in what the New York Times calls the ‘dark arts’ of politics to promulgate anti-Semitic, anti-black, and other attacks on public interest organizations that have been critical of Facebook,” they wrote. “Of course, these particular concerns exist within a broader context of concern about the threats that Facebook and other social networks and their algorithms and data pose to society and democracy.”
As Common Dreams reported, Facebook’s smear efforts targeted billionaire philanthropist George Soros and his foundations as well as the online racial justice organization Color of Change, which has accused Facebook of placing profits over privacy—particularly that of people of color and religious minorities.
“This is unacceptable and requires accountability,” Sheyman and Galland wrote of the social media behemoth’s attempts to discredit Soros and Color of Change. “How you as Facebook’s leaders respond is vitally important. We request an urgent meeting to discuss these issues with you in person.”
Read MoveOn’s full letter: