By Mike Murphy
Scientists funded by couple's initiative had urged Facebook to rein in Trump's inflammatory posts
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan said Thursday they are "deeply shaken and disgusted" by President Donald Trump's inflammatory rhetoric, but offered little other consolation to scientists who recently petitioned the pair, asking to rein in Trump's Facebook posts.
On Saturday, dozens of scientists and researchers funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative signed an open letter (Facebook Inc. (FB) to stop letting Trump use the social network as a platform to spread misinformation and hate.) asking
The scientists' letter (the spread of "deliberate misinformation and divisive language," calling it contrary to the organization's goals of using technology to fight disease, improve children's education and reform the criminal justice system to build a more inclusive future for everyone.
In a response Thursday, Zuckerberg and Chan thanked the letter-writers for speaking up. "We take your concerns seriously and to heart," they wrote in a two-page letter. "We are deeply shaken and disgusted by President Trump's divisive and incendiary rhetoric at a time when our nation so desperately needs unity."
However, they pointed out that while the Initiative and Facebook share a co-leader, they are separate entities, and pointed to Zuckerberg's Facebook post last week (why he believes Trump's posts should not be fact-checked or otherwise challenged.
The couple said they stand by an earlier pledge to "redouble our efforts" to use their philanthropic organization to address racial inequities, and said "having more voices at the table...isn't just a good way to solve the world's biggest challenges -- it is the only way."
In a tweet Thursday night, one scientist who signed the open letter called the response "tepid, promising no real action."
Facebook has faced a torrent of criticism (), including from current and former employees ( ), in recent weeks as Zuckerberg has maintained a hands-off policy toward Trump's posts, unlike rival Twitter Inc. (TWTR) , which has started to fact-check and label some of Trump's tweets.
-Mike Murphy; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 11, 2020 23:55 ET (03:55 GMT)
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