Facebook pledges to 'get better and faster' at addressing hate speech

Facebook pledges to 'get better and faster' at addressing hate speech
© Greg Nash

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, on Tuesday promised in a blog post that the social media giant will get “get better and faster” at rooting out hate speech on its platforms.

"Facebook stands firmly against hate," Sandberg wrote. "Being a platform where everyone can make their voice heard is core to our mission, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for people to spread hate. It’s not. We have clear policies against hate — and we strive constantly to get better and faster at enforcing them. We have made real progress over the years, but this work is never finished and we know what a big responsibility Facebook has to get better at finding and removing hateful content."

Sandberg added that her and company CEO 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 would be meeting with the civil rights groups behind the Stop Hate for Profit campaign — a movement which has called on big-name companies to remove advertising from Facebook — including Color of Change, the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

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Created three weeks ago, the campaign has led to well-known companies such as Ford and Pfizer announcing they were pulling advertising from the platform.

For years, Facebook and Zuckerberg have faced widespread criticism of how hate speech and misinformation is policed across the platform.

The criticism has grown louder in recent months as Facebook's social media counterpart Twitter decided to begin flagging inaccurate tweets made by President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE and other politicians. Facebook has declined to take similar measures, with Zuckerberg saying in May that Facebook can't be “the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”

Sandberg noted that the company would soon be releasing the findings of its two-year civil rights audit, saying that it "helped us learn a lot about what we could do better, and we have put many recommendations from the auditors and the wider civil rights community into practice."

"We are making changes — not for financial reasons or advertiser pressure, but because it is the right thing to do," Sandberg wrote. "We are never going to be perfect, but we care about this deeply. We will continue to listen and learn and work in the weeks, months and years ahead."