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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Facebook and descent into hell

Those of us who value goodwill brands for a living have never seen anything to trust in facebook - www.brandchartering.com but this latest incident report takes the biscuit until the next dismal media race into hell which seems to be what 21st c life in america will be unless a movement out of DC can rise above IT


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


I wanted to share OSF President Patrick Gaspard’s letter to Sheryl Sandberg, below, which he wrote last night in response to revelations that Facebook hired a Republican PR firm to smear George Soros.

It is alarming that Facebook would engage in these unsavory tactics, apparently in response to George’s public criticism in Davos earlier this year of the company’s handling of hate speech and propaganda on its platform.

The Times’ story raises the question of whether Facebook has used similar methods to go after other critics or public officials who have tried to hold Facebook accountable. Zuckerberg and Sandberg’s claim that they were unaware of what the company was doing is more alarming than reassuring. What else is Facebook up to?

The company should hire an outside expert to do a thorough investigation of its lobbying and PR work and make the results public.

Until then, this episode further demonstrates that Facebook continues to pursue its narrow corporate interests at the expense of the public interest.

Sincerely,
Michael Vachon
 

11/14/18

Sheryl Sandberg
Chief Operating Officer
Facebook
1 Hacker Way
Menlo Park, CA  94025


Dear Ms. Sandberg:

I was shocked to learn from the New York Times that you and your colleagues at Facebook hired a Republican opposition research firm to stir up animus toward George Soros. As you know, there is a concerted right-wing effort the world over to demonize Mr. Soros and his foundations, which I lead—an effort which has contributed to death threats and the delivery of a pipe bomb to Mr. Soros’ home. You are no doubt also aware that much of this hateful and blatantly false and anti-Semitic information is spread via Facebook.

The notion that your company, at your direction, actively engaged in the same behavior to try to discredit people exercising their First Amendment rights to protest Facebook’s role in disseminating vile propaganda is frankly astonishing to me.

It’s been disappointing to see how you have failed to monitor hate and misinformation on Facebook’s platform. To now learn that you are active in promoting these distortions is beyond the pale.

These efforts appear to have been part of a deliberate strategy to distract from the very real accountability problems your company continues to grapple with. This is reprehensible, and an offense to the core values Open Society seeks to advance. But at bottom, this is not about George Soros or the foundations. Your methods threaten the very values underpinning our democracy.

I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this matter with you in person, and to hear what steps you might take to help remediate the damage done by this deeply misguided—and dangerous—effort carried out at Facebook’s behest.

Sincerely,

Patrick Gaspard
President
Open Society Foundations

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