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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photo: Richard Bord/Getty Images for Cannes Lions

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg spent Thursday in Atlanta as part of a town hall Facebook held with a number of civil rights groups. Nearly 100 people took part in the 5-hour meeting, which comes ahead of a civil rights audit due before the end of the year.

Why it matters: Facebook has come under fire for a number of actions and policies, including providing a forum for white supremacy and allowing targeted advertising that facilitates discrimination.

What they're saying:

  • Jessica González, co-founder, Change the Terms and VP of Strategy, Free Press: "Only when tech leaders are taken out of their Silicon-Valley bubble to meet with people directly impacted by online hate, can platforms truly begin to understand the public safety crisis that their piecemeal approach to content moderation has on diverse communities. People in our communities are dying at the hands of white supremacy — the stakes are that high."
  • Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson: "No single forum can alter the massive, systemic challenges at Facebook, but Sheryl's commitment to listen and engage on these issues is the first step toward a necessary cultural shift at Facebook."
  • Heidi Beirich, co-founder, Change the Terms and intelligence project director, Southern Poverty Law Center: "Facebook continues to serve as a powerful tool that is used by extremists to spread their hateful messages into the mainstream. While it has taken steps to implement content moderation policies in an attempt to reduce the amount of toxic bigotry on its platform, it has mostly been lip service."
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (per AP): "We know better than most companies that we have a lot to do in terms of strong actions to restore confidence."

Go deeper: Facebook adds 2 new fact-checking partners

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

5 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.

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