There has been a lot of criticism lobbed at Facebook recently, much of it expected after ProPublica published a report that Facebook algorithms gave unscrupulous advertisers the ability to target ads to 2,300 anti-Semites. I have no tolerance for hate and anti-Semitism, but the social media platform has been vilified enough.
Facebook has always taken proactive steps to combat hate groups, admitting the difficulties of finding and rooting out every piece of hate speech, and despite those who continue to find creative ways to bypass its filters, Facebook never stopped putting new safeguards in place to tackle the problem.
The company has taken full responsibility. But Facebook has been scapegoated and accused of allowing the Russian government, through internet trolls, to use the site to spread misinformation and meddle in our 2016 presidential election, despite the fact that it shut down the perpetrators as quickly and as often as they were uncovered.
The Russians are savvy operators who have strategically and successfully infiltrated media outlets and entities across the globe.
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is Jewish, and while I don’t know him personally, I would speculate that he is no fan of hate speech. Those of us who grew up with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg can attest to the fact that she is as fine a person as they come, a wonderful mother and a proud Jewish woman as well as a moral example to so many throughout the world. They deserve a break.
In the spirit of Rosh Hashanah and the High Holy Days, let us recognize that none of us is infallible and that mistakes happen in every corporate environment. Let’s give them some credit for expeditiously taking the steps to resolve the problem in order to keep Facebook safe for the 2 billion people on the planet who use the site.
Fred Menachem, Miami