“Facebook Fails to Appease Organizers of Ad Boycott”


Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s two top executives, met with civil rights groups on Tuesday in an attempt to mollify them over how the social network treats hate speech on its site.

But Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and Ms. Sandberg, the chief operating officer, failed to win its critics over.

For more than an hour, Mr. Zuckerberg, Ms. Sandberg and other Facebook executives discussed the company’s handling of hate speech over Zoom with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Color of Change. Those groups have helped push hundreds of companies, such as Unilever and Best Buy, to pause their advertising on Facebook in recent weeks to protest its handling of toxic speech and misinformation.

The groups said they discussed their demands with Facebook’s leaders, including the hiring a top executive with a civil rights background, submitting to regular independent audits and updating its community standards, according to a statement from the Free Press advocacy group, whose co-chief executive, Jessica J. González, was on the call.

But Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg did not agree to all of those requests, representatives of the groups said. Instead, they said, the Facebook executives reverted to “spin” and firing up its “powerful P.R. machine.”

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