Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

Congressional Democrats sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on June 12 to express concern with the platform's practices on hate-speech and political disinformation.

They also expressed solidarity with Facebook workers who staged a June 1 walkout due to the company's failure to balance free speech with public safety.

Organized by Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, the letter focuses on Facebook's micro-targeting capabilities that "enables political operatives to strategically segment voters and deliver focused advertisements that promote inconsistent or misleading messages" that spread rapidly throughout communities without opportunities for critique, correction or counterargument.

"Micro-targeting on Facebook enables political advertisers to direct different messages to narrow subsets of users in order to reinforce and amplify partisan, group, and identity conflicts," said Cleaver and 17 co-signers of the letter.

Citing research from Stanford University, the Democrats charge Facebook for increasing "both the extremism and the variability of ideological positioning of candidates."

Those political messages are "more easily identifiable as partisan and more clearly ideological than those they include in TV spots."

The representatives want Zuckerberg to tell them by July 12 what changes are under consideration regarding Facebook's policy on hate-speech and political ads.