Parents of a Sandy Hook victim expect better of Facebook and its policies regarding content filtering.
Lenny Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose six-year-old son Noah was killed in the tragic school shooting, addressed Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in an open letter published by The Guardian.
“We have had to wage an almost inconceivable battle with Facebook to provide us with the most basic of protections to remove the most offensive and incendiary content,” they wrote regarding Facebook’s controversially soft stance on fake news, conspiracy theories, and inaccurate information.
“While you implied that Facebook would act more quickly to take down harassment directed at Sandy Hook victims than, say, the posts of Holocaust deniers, that is not our experience,” wrote the parents.
“In fact, you went on to suggest that this type of content would continue to be protected and that your idea for combatting incendiary content was to provide counterpoints to push ‘fake news’ lower in search results. Of course, this provides no protection to us at all.”
Zuckerberg recently said Facebook primarily aims to remove content that could cause real physical harm and that the company does not plan to filter out content posted by people he believes are misinformed. That said, however, Facebook will not prioritize inaccurate information on news feeds.
“Our families are in danger as a direct result of the hundreds of thousands of people who see and believe the lies and hate speech, which you have decided should be protected,” Pozner and De La Rosa argued.
Facebook responded to the letter in a statement, saying victims and their families have access to “channels through which they can reach out to people at Facebook” and that “we don’t allow people to mock, harass or bully the victims of tragedies. This includes the types of claims in the letter that victims are crisis actors.”
Last week, Facebook told NBC they had removed one of the largest Sandy Hook hoax groups from the platform, although several smaller groups remain active.