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Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) Photo: Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images

A group of Democratic senators says Facebook needs to better enforce its hate speech policies on anti-Muslim posts.

Why it matters: Facebook is under pressure from a range of groups and politicians on both the left and right who feel mistreated by the social network.

The group, led by Sen. Chris Coons, plans to send a six-page letter to Facebook today expressing "deep concern" and asking the social network to commit to better auditing and internal monitoring of its practices.

Driving the news: The letter, seen by Axios, cites some progress from Facebook, including a recently completed civil rights audit, but notes that the company "has not yet publicly studied or acknowledged the particular ways anti-Muslim bigotry manifests on its platform."

  • The letter has more than a dozen signatories, including Coons, Richard Blumenthal, Dick Durbin, Mark Warner, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Facebook seeks a new head of U.S. public policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook is looking externally for a new U.S. policy chief as it moves Kevin Martin, a Republican who now holds the job, to a different position, per a memo seen by Axios.

Between the lines: Facebook is moving on from the Trump era in which Republicans held most of the power in Washington and Facebook was particularly eager among tech companies to forge warm relations with GOP policymakers.

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech is outsourcing its hardest content moderation decisions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Faced with the increasingly daunting task of consistent content moderation at scale, Big Tech companies are tossing their hardest decisions to outsiders, hoping to deflect some of the pressure they face for how they govern their platforms.

Why it matters: Every policy change, enforcement action or lack thereof prompts accusations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making politically motivated decisions to either be too lax or too harsh. Ceding responsibility to others outside the company may be the future of content moderation if it works.

App rush: Talent over trash

Data: Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Amid the sea of pollution on social media, another class of apps is soaring in popularity: The creators are paid, putting a premium on talent instead of just noise.

The big picture: Creator-economy platforms like Patreon, Substack and OnlyFans are built around content makers who are paid. It's a contrast to platforms like Facebook that are mostly powered by everyday users’ unpaid posts and interactions.