Suit says the company made false claims to consumers by promising, at congressional hearings, that it quickly removes hate groups and hate speech
By Elizabeth DwoskinApril 8, 2021 at 11:14 a.m. EDT
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was “making false and deceptive statements” when he told Congress that the company removes content that violates its hate-speech rules, a lawsuit alleges.
The suit, filed Thursday in D.C. Superior Court, alleges that since 2017, civil rights groups and other experts have brought hundreds of anti-Muslim groups and pages on the platform to Facebook’s attention, but that the company has failed to penalize more than half of them.
It also alleges that Facebook and its top executives violated the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act, under which it is illegal for a company to make material misrepresentations about a good or service. Civil rights group Muslim Advocates, the law firm Gupta Wessler and University of Chicago law professor Aziz Z. Huq brought the suit.
“Every day, ordinary people are bombarded with harmful content that violates Facebook’s own policies on hate speech, bullying, harassment, dangerous organizations, and violence,” the suit alleges. “The anti-Muslim hate that’s pervasive on Facebook presents an enormous problem — both online and in real life.”
Facebook has created an atmosphere where “Muslims feel under siege,” the suit says.