WASHINGTON (WAVY) — Virginia Senator Mark R. Warner is putting pressure on Meta to change its approach to misinformation.
Warner, who serves as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging the company to strengthen its efforts to combat the spread of misinformation, hate speech, and incitement content around the world.
The letter comes in response to reports that Facebook devotes 84% of its misinformation budget to the US, despite only having 10% of its users located in the country.
Senator Warner expressed concern that Meta has not sufficiently invested in the necessary technical, organizational, and human safeguards to ensure that its platforms are not used to incite real-world harm. He cited the example of Myanmar, where Facebook was used to foment genocide, as evidence that the company has not taken its responsibility seriously enough.
Warner also noted that while Facebook supports over 110 languages, its community standards policies were only available in less than half of those languages as of October 2021. He raised particular concern over the lack of resources dedicated to “at-risk countries” – nations that are especially vulnerable to misinformation, hate speech, and incitement to violence.
The senator cited various cases where Facebook has been linked to ethnic, religious, and racial violence, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka. He argued that Facebook’s global success has heightened the effects of its misuse, particularly in developing countries where it serves as the internet for millions of people.
Ultimately, Warner warned that the destabilizing impacts of Facebook on fragile societies across the globe pose a set of regional and global security risks. He posed a series of questions to Zuckerberg about the company’s investments in foreign language content moderation and requested a response by March 15, 2023.
Read his full letter HERE.
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