Selena Gomez emailed Sheryl Sandberg months before the Capitol siege to highlight US militia group activity on Facebook
- The star told AP this week that, in the wake of the Capitol riots, she was frustrated tech platforms failed to heed warnings.
- "Facebook continues to allow dangerous lies about vaccines and COVID and the US election..." she said.
Selena Gomez emailed Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in September 2020 to warn of US militia groups operating on the social network despite a ban.The actress and singer this week shared those emails with the AP, expressing frustration in an interview that tech platforms did not do enough to crack down on extremist speech ahead of the US Capitol riots.
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According to the AP, Gomez wrote in her September email to Sandberg: "[A] search for a militia group '
Gomez's email came despite Facebook banning or restricting militia groups in August.The actress also took Sandberg, who oversees Facebook's ad business, to task over lies in ads. The firm does not fact-check lies in political ads. "I can't believe you can't check ads before you take money, and if you can't you shouldn't be profiting from it," she wrote. "You're not just doing nothing. You're cashing in from evil."
AP said Sandberg responded by pointing to the fact Facebook had removed millions of posts for hate speech and had removed divisive ads.
Facebook has been on the defensive after the US Capitol riots on January 6, which saw pro-Trump rioters storm the building and which left five dead. The rioters had planned their activities openly on social media for weeks, on Facebook as well as other platforms.Sandberg publicly claimed this week the riots had largely been planned off Facebook, saying: "These events were largely organized on platforms that don't have our abilities to stop hate, and don't have our standards, and don't have our transparency."
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