Joe Scarborough accused Facebook of actively ‘promoting extremism’ in a fiery monologue Wednesday morning as civil rights groups urged big advertisers to pull spending from the social media giant for its failure to make its platform less hostile.
The Morning Joe host ripped into Mark Zuckerberg by first criticizing him over a statement that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan released slamming President Donald Trump for his ‘divisive and incendiary rhetoric’ amid the Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer.
‘I’ve seen a lot of insincere statements put out. Gonna say Mark Zuckerberg talking about how deeply saddened he was by the things he’s seen the president say is near that top of it considering that he makes billions of dollars off of spreading lies and letting people spread lies — hateful lies,’ the MSNBC host raged.
Scarborough was referring to Facebook’s employees recently publicly criticizing Zuckerberg for deciding to leave up posts by Trump that suggested police-brutality protesters in Minneapolis could be shot.
The former GOP representative then exploded over the murder of federal officer Damon Gutzwiller, 38, who died in an ambush allegedly started by Air Force sergeant, Steve Carillo, 32, last weekend.
Authorities said Carillo scribbled far-right extremist phrases in blood after he killed a Gutzwiller and wounded two others. Carillo is said to be a part of ‘boogaloo’, a movement of far-right anti-government extremists.
Joe Scarborough accused Facebook of actively ‘promoting extremism’ in a fiery monologue Wednesday morning as civil rights groups urged big advertisers to pull spending from the social media giant for its failure to make its platform less hostile
‘Mark Zuckerberg is promoting the extremism, because Mark Zuckerberg is actually – his site, the Zuckerberg site, has actually set up! Set up! Like, ad promotions that actually push people towards extremist sites that kill federal officers!’ Scarborough (center) said
Scarborough was referring to the killing of Officer Damon Gutzwiller (left), 38. He was allegedly killed in an ambush started by, Steve Carillo (right), 32, last weekend. Carillo is believed to have ties to the ‘boogaloo’ movement of far-right anti-government extremists
‘Mark Zuckerberg is promoting the extremism, because Mark Zuckerberg is actually – his site, the Zuckerberg site, has actually set up! Set up! Like, ad promotions that actually push people towards extremist sites that kill federal officers! And Mark Zuckerberg becomes a billionaire!’ Scarborough said.
‘How many times over? Because he’s pushing people towards extremist sites that gun down and murder federal officials.’
Scarborough then tore into Facebook COO Cheryl Sandberg.
‘And when Sheryl Sandberg found out that Mark Zuckerberg’s website was being used by foreign powers to interfere in the 2016 election, what did she do? She got angry at the Mark Zuckerberg employee that came to her and came to the board and warned them that American democracy was at risk,’ he continued.
‘Mark Zuckerberg said, he doesn’t care that people use his site to lie. He doesn’t care that they use their site.’
Meanwhile, several civil rights groups are pushing for advertisers to stop giving their money to Facebook and start putting it elsewhere.
The groups in the ‘#StopHateforProfit’ campaign, launched Wednesday, include Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press and Common Sense.
The groups took out a full page ad in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that’s titled: ‘What would you do with $70billion?’
‘We know what Facebook did,’ the ad continues. The groups say that Facebook amplifies white supremacists, allows posts that incite violence and contain political propaganda and misinformation, and doesn’t stop ‘bad actors using the platform to do harm’.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP as well as several other civil rights groups are pushing for advertisers to stop giving their money to Zuckerberg’s (pictured October 2019) company and start putting it elsewhere
The groups took out a full page ad (pictured) in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that’s titled: ‘What would you do with $70billion?’
They want to apply public pressure on Facebook to ‘stop generating ad revenue from hateful content, provide more support to people who are targets of racism and hate, and to increase safety for private groups on the platform’.
‘Today, we are asking all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July,’ representatives wrote in the ad.
‘Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.’
Facebook did not immediately return a request for comment.
Scarborough’s remarks and the ad from the civil rights groups come just hours after Facebook removed nearly 900 accounts linked to two far-right groups whose members may have been plotting to send armed agitators to the continued protests around the country.
The social media giant removed accounts connected to Proud Boys and American Guard, both of which it considers to be hate groups.
Officials said they had started to initiate a ban against the two groups on May 30 after seeing web traffic which indicated they were planning to disrupt protests sparked by Floyd’s death.
‘We accelerated our investigation and enforcement to remove the accounts, pages and groups we had found by that point and then continued our work mapping out the rest of the network,’ an official told ABC News.
Scarborough’s remarks and the ad from the civil rights groups come just hours after Facebook removed nearly 900 accounts linked to two far-right groups. A member of one of the groups, Proud Boys, wears a sticker reading ‘Antifa Hunting Permit’ at a rally in Oregon
Facebook (file image) officials said they had started to initiate a ban against the two groups on May 30 after seeing web traffic which indicated they were planning to disrupt protests sparked by Floyd’s death
The social media company, which also owns Instagram, said they removed 358 Facebook accounts and 172 Instagram accounts connected to Proud Boys.
They also removed 406 Facebook accounts and 164 Instagram accounts connected to American Guard.
‘In both cases, we saw accounts from both organizations discussing attending protests in various US states with plans to carry weapons but we did not find indications in their on-platform content they planned to actively commit violence,’ the company said.
Proud Boys were formed in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, who helped to found Vice Media.
The group denies any link to the far right but claims to be against political correctness and are ‘anti-white guilt’, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC does brand them as a hate group.
Proud Boys members also reportedly appeared at the Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The SPLC says American Guard is associated with the Proud Boys. American Guard members are also branded as ‘hardcore white supremacists’ by the Anti-Defamation League.
Facebook first banned both groups for promoting hate but members had continued to post images with weapons and urged others to attend protests sparked following the death of Floyd in Minneapolis.
The company is also trying to make it harder to find groups in the Boogaloo movement. Adherents are often heavily armed and believe a new civil war is likely.
DOJ to unveil plans to strip tech giants of protection from being sued over content on their platforms after Donald Trump accused Google, Facebook and Twitter of anti-conservative bias
The Justice Department is preparing to roll back the legal protections big tech companies have used to protect themselves from lawsuits, a move that comes after President Donald Trump threatened to shut them down over what he says is bias against conservatives.
The reforms would make companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter liable for a wide array of content posted on their sites.
And it would push those companies to be more aggressive in addressing harmful conduct on their sites, The Wall Street Journal reported, and to be fairer and more consistent in their decisions to take down content.
The plan from the Justice Department involves legislative reform to the law known as Section 230 – the original legal code governing the internet – so it would have to be adopted by Congress, including approval from the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives.
The Justice Department is preparing to roll back the legal protections big tech companies have used to protect themselves from lawsuits, a move that comes after President Donald Trump threatened to shut them down over what he says is bias against conservatives
If passed it would erase decades of legal protection enjoyed by social media companies.
The move is the next step in the administration’s war on big tech and comes after Trump signed an executive order at the end of May that limited the companies’ legal protections.
But legal experts said the president’s order would likely have little effect on tech companies.
It was immediately challenged in court and is pending. A change in law pushed by the Justice Department would have greater impact.
Democrats and Republicans have found rare common ground in attacking Section 230. The law, adopted in the the 1990s, is seen by both sides as out of date in governing the rapidly evolving internet.
That law gave big tech companies immunity from lawsuits that would have threatened the existence of the then-infant companies but now it protects the online giants from liability.
Democrats complain the law allows social media companies to spread political falsehoods, disinformation, and hate speech while Republicans claim it allows the stifling of conservative voices.
The president has been one of big tech’s biggest critics on the matter, claiming the companies silence conservative voices.
‘We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history, frankly,’ Trump said in the Oval Office on May 28 when he signed the order.
‘A small handful of powerful social media monopolies control the vast portion of all private and public communications in the United States.’
That order came after Twitter marked some of tweets as needing more information, a move that infuriated the president.
The debate over the president tweets highlights the struggle social media platform have as they try to balance freedom of speech with cracking down on misinformation.