Since 2017, Facebook has on numerous occasions announced to the public, shareholders and the U.S. Congress that it removes “99 percent” of Al Qaeda and ISIS-related content from its platforms. However, a recent Associated Press investigation into whistleblower claims to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleges that in reality, Facebook’s extremist content removal rate was just 38 percent, not 99 percent. This disconnect calls into question once again the company’s credibility and its commitment to removing dangerous content from its platform.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, other company executives and Facebook itself must be held accountable for why they have been repeatedly touting what have turned out to be false and misleading claims. Over the course of one-and-a-half years, the “99 Percent Myth” was relayed before both houses of Congress, on quarterly earnings reports and on press release after press release. This puzzling talking point, once again, exposes the company’s efforts to assuage critics and limit legislative or regulatory pressure, calling into question its commitment to removing terrorist and extremist content from its platform.