Muslim Advocates on Thursday filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and CFO Sheryl Sandberg, among others at the company, demanding that the social network begin taking anti-Muslim activity more seriously.
The suit alleges statements made by Facebook executives about the removal of hateful and violent content have misled people into believing the company does all it can to combat anti-Muslim bigotry.
It claims that people using the platform are bombarded daily by hateful and harmful content in violation of the company’s policies on hate speech, bullying, harassment, dangerous organizations, and violence.
A report by Muslim Advocates found that Facebook is seeding and cultivating anti-Muslim bigotry among its users, leading to real-world violence, and points in the suit to Facebook’s civil rights auditors who have highlighted the company’s failure to enforce standards on its community.
The suit, filed in D.C. Superior Court, alleges that since 2017, civil rights groups and others have brought hundreds of anti-Muslim groups and pages on the platform to Facebook’s attention, but that the company has failed to take down more than half.
NPG.org points to a list of 26 anti-Muslim hate groups on Facebook, provided by Muslim Advocate, who said these should have been shuttered years ago. Nineteen remain active today, according to the suit, including "Anti-Islam Movement," "Purge Worldwide," and "Islam is Pure Evil."
Facebook's Community Standards ban hate speech, violent and graphic content, and "dangerous individuals and organizations," such as an organized hate group.