Nepal | July 05, 2020

Zuckerberg-funded scientists: Rein in hate on Facebook

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Share Now:

BOSTON: Dozens of scientists doing research funded by Mark Zuckerberg say Facebook should not be letting President Donald Trump use the social media platform to “spread both misinformation and incendiary statements.”

The researchers, including 60 professors at leading US research institutions, wrote the Facebook CEO on Saturday asking Zuckerberg to “consider stricter policies on misinformation and incendiary language that harms people,” especially during the current turmoil over racial injustice.

The letter calls the spread of “deliberate misinformation and divisive language” contrary to the researchers’ goals of using technology to prevent and eradicate disease, improve childhood education and reform the criminal justice system.

Their mission “is antithetical to some of the stances that Facebook has been taking, so we’re encouraging them to be more on the side of truth and on the right side of history as we’ve said in the letter,” said Debora Marks of Harvard Medical School, one of three professors who organized it.

The others are Martin Kampmann of the University of California-San Francisco and Jason Shepherd of the University of Utah. All have grants from a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative program working to prevent, cure and treat neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

They said the letter had more than 160 signatories. Shepherd said about 10% are employees of foundations run by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

The letter objects specifically to Zuckerberg’s decision not to at least flag as a violation of Facebook’s community standards Trump’s post that stated “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to unrest in Minneapolis over the videotaped killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer. The letter’s authors called the post “a clear statement of inciting violence.”

Twitter had both flagged and demoted a Trump tweet using the same language.

In a statement, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative noted that the philanthropic organization is separate from Facebook and said “we are grateful for our staff, partners and grantees” and “respect their right to voice their opinions, including on Facebook policies.”

Some Facebook employees have publicly objected to Zuckerberg’s refusal to take down or label misleading or incendiary posts by Trump and other politicians. But Zuckerberg — who controls a majority of voting shares in the company — has so far refused.

On Friday, Zuckerberg said in a post that he would review “potential options for handling violating or partially-violating content aside from the binary leave-it-up or take-it-down decisions”

“I know many of you think we should have labeled the President’s posts in some way last week,” he wrote. “Our current policy is that if content is actually inciting violence, then the right mitigation is to take that content down — not let people continue seeing it behind a flag. There is no exception to this policy for politicians or newsworthiness.”


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

World Bank elevates Nepal to ‘lower middle income economy’

Country saw its GNI per capita rise to $1,090 in 2019, but economists says it doesn’t mean much in terms of development KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Nepal is now officially a lower-middle income country, an upgrade from its previous status as low income nation, according to the World Bank’s latest coun Read More...

Kailali's Bhajani Municipality, Joshipur Rural Municipality inundated

KAILALI, JULY 3 Bhajani and Joshipur of Kailali have been inundated after floodwaters gushed into the settlements. According to eyewitnesses, many houses in Wards 2, 3, 6 and 8 of Bhajani Municipality have been inundated. Local Ganga Chaudhary said floodwaters from local Kandra and Kadha ri Read More...

Ministry develops guidelines for rehab centres

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has developed guidelines for operation of rehabilitation centres to ensure that vulnerable persons at the centres do not contract COVID-19. MoWCSC said the new guidelines would be effective until Nepal was declared coronavir Read More...

Nepali Congress Ram Chandra Paudel

Country pushed into crisis: Paudel

DAMAULI, JULY 3 Senior Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Paudel said sudden prorogation of the Parliament was unfortunate for the nation. “At a time when the nation is fighting a deadly disease, the decision to prorogue the Parliament has pushed the country further into the crisis,” said t Read More...

Holding centre in Khotang

KHOTANG, JULY 3 A 10-bed holding centre has been established in Diktel, the district headquarters of Khotang, for returnees. According to Chief District Officer and District COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre coordinator Shaligram Sharma Poudel, Nepali Army personnel and Red Cross staff jointly Read More...

Visit Nepal 2020 mascot, yeti

Former Visit Nepal secretariat seeks more budget from Tourism Ministry

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Even after the government has scrapped the secretariat of the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign, the secretariat has submitted more unpaid bills to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA). Addressing a press meet today to unveil the ministry’s work progress dur Read More...

ADB country chief Kenichi Yokohama inspects Gautam Buddha International Airport in Lumbini

Tourism infrastructure development continues

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Although the country is in a lockdown, infrastructure development activities under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) have continued. Organising a press meet today, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai unveiled the progress report of infrastructure deve Read More...

917 Nepalis rescued

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 The government which has been rescuing stranded Nepalis abroad repatriated 917 Nepali citizens and two dead bodies today through six different chartered flights. As per the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) office based at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal A Read More...