On Friday, activists rallied outside Facebook’s Dulles Gateway Center offices to demand that CEO Mark Zuckerberg suspend Vijay Mahajan, vice president of global operations, who they say covered up Facebook content spreading anti-Muslim bigotry.
The protest was organized by the digital rights group Fight for the Future. An earlier tweet from Fight for the Future called for Facebook users to contact the CEO and Zuckerberg to complain about the situation.
Mahajan repeatedly has turned to his Facebook page to contradict its content moderators who have flagged anti-Muslim hate speech that has been shared around the world on the platform. Although the platform has been deeply responsible for igniting the spread of racist hate speech across the globe, Mahajan expressed his dismay at what Facebook has done.
Mahajan wrote on Facebook on July 1: “I don’t agree with the policies put in place by [sic] my team. Not sure exactly how this came to be. Being Asian, I am aware of the many stereotypes about Asian people. It’s not accurate that we are all the same. There are thousands of different types of Asian-Americans. There are Asian-Americans with negative stereotypes — Muslim, South Asian, Chinese, Indian, etc. Are these right stereotypes to have? Perhaps. But the community can correct them by making sure everyone’s voice is heard, including their own voice. Having a voice is what makes a community strong. You see this elsewhere in the world — Native Americans, Arawaks, for example.”
Following protests earlier this week, Facebook created a “Gang of Experts” to help review the problem.