Omar, Tlaib, other Democrat lawmakers demand Facebook remove anti-Muslim content ‘before it is even seen’

The reps asked Facebook to “strive towards and commit to a 100 percent proactive detection and removal of anti-Muslim content.”

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

A group of 30 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter addressed to Mark Zuckerberg last week demanding that the Facebook CEO take immediate action to “eradicate anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and André Carson (D-Ind.) were among the signatories of the letter, which was written by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.).

“We write to express our deep concern regarding anti-Muslim bigotry on your platform and the inaction by Facebook in response to the abuse of your platform to dehumanize Muslims and stoke violence and genocide against Muslims around the world,” the letter said.

The reps urged Zuckerberg to “take this problem seriously and take immediate action to eradicate anti-Muslim bigotry from Facebook.”

“Facebook has touted its ability to preemptively block 99 percent of all content related to child pornography and extremist violence, and it should be able to do the same with anti-Muslim content,” the letter said.

They asked Facebook to take “aggressive action” and to prioritize the “eradication of anti-Muslim content and organizing” by implementing six measures.

Among the measures, Facebook was asked to “strive towards and commit to a 100-percent proactive detection and removal of anti-Muslim content and all other forms of hate before it is even seen.”

The letter does not specifically define “anti-Muslim content,” and it is unclear whether such content would include all criticism of Islam.

According to a statement from Dingell’s office, the letter also had the support of several organizations, including CODEPINK, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Networks Group, Jetpac, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Justice for Muslims Collective, National Iranian American Council, and Progressive Democrats of America.

“We thank Congresswoman Dingell and her colleagues for holding Facebook accountable for the harm it has inflicted on American Muslims here and Muslims abroad,” said Scott Simpson, Public Advocacy Director of Muslim Advocates.

However, the letter was not as warmly welcomed by others, such as Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

“Democrats have repeatedly pressured Facebook and other social media companies to remove speech they politically disapprove of, whether by President Trump or other conservatives, eroding the thin line between private companies acting on their own initiative and government officials conspiring to violate the First Amendment by banning certain kinds of political speech,” Greenfield wrote in an op-ed that appeared on FrontPage Magazine on Dec. 17.

Last month, 15 members of the U.S. Senate sent a similar letter to Zuckerberg expressing their “deep concern regarding anti-Muslim bigotry.”

The signatories included Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“As members of Congress who are deeply disturbed by the proliferation of this hate speech on your platform, we urge you to do more,” the letter said.