Gov. Whitmer sends letter to Facebook's Zuckerberg asking to do more to curb hate speech
LANSING, Mich. - Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, urging the CEO to do more to curb hate speech on the social network.
The letter comes after a page on Facebook that threatened violence against women, Muslims and Democrats was taken down following a report from the Metro Times.
The article detailed a public group titled "People vs Gov. Gretchen Whitmer," that became a host to a myriad of posts promising violence against several public officials, including Whitmer, Michigan Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Elissa Slotkin, as well as members of the Muslim community.
"Of late, hundreds of vitriolic, sexist, and violent posts on Facebook have called for violence against Muslims and Michigan legislators," read the letter. "For example, users have called for certain female congressional leaders from my state to be "burned and raped," needing of "a bullet between her eyes," or instead, just "set...on fire."
"This is disgusting. This is immoral. This is unacceptable," added Whitmer in her post.
While the original page's administrator said the content that was being shared wasn't what he had intended, it had initially been setup to act as a space for people who disagreed with the governor to share their thoughts and "stand up against" her.
But the administrator said it wouldn't matter if he tried to block people posting on the site. "Everyone has opinions and not everyone agrees with everyone's point of view" he told the Metro Times.
The story was originally posted Jan. 10.
A week later on Friday afternoon, Whitmer shared her post.
As election season heats up and American voters prepare for a busy 2020 year, Facebook and other social media sites have been at the center of how much of the information shared on its sites will be disseminated. After the 2016 election, which saw several examples of misinformation and fake news shared on the social feeds of Twitter and Facebook, its CEOs promised to do better.
Jack Nissen is a reporter at FOX 2 Detroit. You can contact him at (248) 552-5269 or at Jack.Nissen@Foxtv.com