A small group of left-wing protesters gathered outside of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s home in Mission District to protest the company’s use of personal data and its decision not to regulate certain political advertisements.
“We’re sick and tired of waiting for the government to regulate Facebook,” said Tracy Rosenberg, one of the protest’s organizers. “You’re profiting off of us — you’re selling our information.”
While the protesters carried signage that stated, “Stop the Lies, Protect our democracy” and “break up Facebook,” chants of “Wake up, Zuck” and “fake news, real hate” could be heard.
Certain individuals from the group made their mark directly in front of Zuckerberg’s home by using chalk to write phrases including “Facebook is a Russian asset”; “don’t sell my private data”; and “history will write your epitaph as the man who broke democracy.”
Some of the people who took part in the protest feel that Facebook is a “threat” to “democratic systems around the world.”
We like many others and the organizations that put this rally together feel that Facebook is a dramatic threat to our democratic systems around the world. Facebook needs to take responsibility for what they’re doing — they need to get the lies off of their platform.
Lewis also expressed his concern over Facebook’s inaction to step in and censor certain political ads.
“Political advertising could contain the most blatant falsehood and they refuse to do anything about it,” Lewis claimed.
Another protester insisted Facebook is “monetizing propaganda.”
“You can say anything you want,” said Erin Fisher, a Campaign to Regulate and Break Up Big Tech activist. “Facebook is the most important. They’re monetizing propaganda.”
Over the weekend, while attending the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Zuckerberg made the point that individual expression and free speech could be stifled by Facebook’s online control of speech.
Zuckerberg also made it clear that he supports government regulation of speech online.
He said, “We don’t want private companies making so many decisions about how to balance social equities without any more democratic process.”
For months, the left has attempted to pressure Facebook into fact-checking and censoring certain political advertisements.
Last October, Zuckerberg said, “People having the power to express themselves at scale is a new kind of force in the world — a Fifth Estate alongside the other power structures of society.” Zuckerberg is also a firm believer that Facebook users should be able to make decisions on what to believe and read.