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Conservation groups urge Facebook to stop the spread of hatred, bias, and misinformation

Photo by Pigprox / Shutterstock

Facebook should investigate why it has become a place that enables the spread of hatred and disinformation that undermines science and fact-based politics, conservation officials said in an open letter to Facebook today. Headed by the National Wildlife Federation and Conservation Northwest along with 16 other conservation groups across the country, the letter urged Facebook to do more to keep hate from flourishing online and to adopt guidelines that prevent the spread of Prevent hatred and misinformation on its platform.

The Presidents of New Jersey Audubon and New Hampshire Audubon also signed the letter.

“As the nation struggles to keep the pandemic under control, nature has provided valuable and safe respite. But as we saw with the racism behind the Christian Cooper incident in New York City, the benefits of nature are not available to all. The pandemic has also exposed the effects of systemic racism. Those who live in areas where air pollution has historically been worst – communities that are predominantly black and brown – are more likely to die from COVID-19, “the 18 conservation groups said in the letter. “We will not be successful as a nation until nature and a healthy environment are truly available to everyone. Facebook needs to recognize its role in promoting an environment that upholds the culture of racism and hate and keeps nature out of bounds. ”

“We stand for civil society and against hatred,” said Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest in Seattle and one of the authors of the letter. “In addition, efforts to conserve nature are anchored in science and a careful search for mutual understanding based on facts and truths. This delicate pursuit of truthful dialogue and science-based politics is deliberately destabilized by interests with specific agendas, and Facebook is currently reinforcing and even profiting from those agendas. That has to stop. “

The groups urged Facebook to change the algorithms and tools that prioritize “engagement”, which leads to an amplification of misinformation and hatred. You can find the letter here.

Thank you to the National Wildlife Federation for providing this news.

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