Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit

Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit
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Democratic Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick The Hill's Campaign Report: LIVE: Trump from Gettysburg | The many unknowns of 2020 | Omar among those facing primary challenges Sens. Markey, Cruz clash over coronavirus relief: 'It's not a goddamn joke Ted' MORE (Calif.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetExpanding our health force can save lives and create jobs simultaneously How Congress is preventing a Medicare bankruptcy during COVID-19 Tom Cotton rips NY Times for Chinese scientist op-ed criticizing US coronavirus response MORE (Colo.) sent a letter to Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Trump order targets TikTok, WeChat | TikTok fires back | Chinese firms hit hard in aftermath Female lawmakers pressure Facebook to crack down on disinformation targeting women leaders Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns MORE on Friday raising concerns over an independent civil rights audit of Facebook released this week.

The lawmakers called the independent review of the company's policies "unsettling." The audit criticized Facebook for failing to develop a mechanism for protecting civil rights and for a hands-off approach when it comes to free speech, even in cases of violent posts.

"We share the auditors’ concern that Facebook has failed to use the tools and resources at its disposal to more vigorously combat voter suppression and protect civil rights," the senators wrote.

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"Although none of these issues lend themselves to easy solutions, we do not accept that they are beyond Facebook’s considerable power to address especially when the audit has made clear where progress is possible in several areas."

The lawmakers also criticized Facebook's preparation for the upcoming general election, saying the platform is lacking “resolve to confront voter suppression and learn the lessons of the 2016 election."

The letter lists a series of questions about following up on the recommendations in the audit, asking for responses by Aug. 15.

The Hill has reached out to Facebook for comment on the letter.