Open Letter to Facebook:
Dear Mark Zuckerberg:
We write to express our grave concern over your decision to consider allowing Donald Trump back onto Facebook in 2023 after he weaponized the platform – in your own words – “to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
The deadly siege of the United States Capitol was among the darkest days in our nation’s history. It was a day that was organized in no small part on Facebook, as revealed in both internal company reports and Department of Justice documents. It was the manifestation of a months-long campaign led by Donald Trump to dehumanize his critics and delegitimize our democracy with falsehoods that spread virally across your platforms.
In the months since the January 6 insurrection, Donald Trump has continued to spew election lies, extreme rhetoric, and dangerous conspiracy theories. Just last week, on the day that you announced Trump might be allowed back onto your platform, he sought to compel Pennsylvania lawmakers to overturn the state’s 2020 results.
The Oversight Board specifically stated in their ruling that Trump should only be reinstated if he had changed such behavior to eliminate the risk of further harm:
“To fulfill its responsibility to guarantee that the adverse impacts are not repeated, Facebook must assess whether reinstating Mr. Trump’s accounts would pose a serious risk… including context and conditions on and off Facebook and Instagram. Facebook should, for example, be satisfied that Mr. Trump has ceased making unfounded claims about election fraud in the manner that justified suspension on January 6.”
It is unconscionable that you would even consider giving Donald Trump a second chance knowing full-well what he will do with it. You would be handing him the megaphone through which he incited an insurrection – and all without implementing meaningful design or enforcement changes to prevent the worst from happening again.
If you move forward with this course of action, you will be knowingly putting American lives and democracy at risk. The undersigned organizations refuse to accept that as the cost of business; we strongly urge you to reverse your decision and permanently ban Donald Trump from your platform.
ADL (The Anti-Defamation League)
American Family Voices
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc
Center for American Progress
Friends of the Earth
Hui Aloha ‘O Maui Indivisible
Indivisible Plus Washington
Liberation in a Generation
Media Matters for America
National Hispanic Media Coalition
Open MIC (Open Media & Information Companies Initiative) Progress America
ProgressNow New Mexico
Secure Elections Network
Social Security Works
Stop Online Violence Against Women Inc.