Facebook’s high-profile critics urge it to do more to safeguard US elections


Facebook critics say the social network needs to do more to safeguard the US elections.

Angela Lang/CNET

Some of Facebook’s most prominent critics on Wednesday called on the social network to take steps to safeguard democracy ahead of the US elections in November, accusing it of not enforcing its own rules against inciting violence.

The group calls itself the Real Facebook Oversight Board and is made up of high-profile journalists, activists, academics, politicians and business people. Members include Facebook investor Roger McNamee, Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa (who co-founded the news site Rappler), Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and UK Parliament member Damian Collins.

During a press conference on Wednesday, the group outlined a list of demands for Facebook. The social network should enforce its rules including a policy against inciting violence along with banning paid ads that mention the presidential election results until one candidate is declared the winner and the other concedes. Facebook should also label posts about presidential election results as untrue and premature before the results come out, the group says.

The demands show that Facebook continues to face more pressure to do a better job of combating misinformation and hate speech before the US elections in November. 

Facebook has faced criticism this year for how it interprets its own rules. The company didn’t pull down a post by President Donald Trump that said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” sparking a rare virtual walkout by Facebook employees in June. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said even though the post “had a troubling historical reference” the company decided to leave it up because it had a reference to the