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The suit, which was filed Thursday by the group Muslim Advocates, alleges that Facebook has violated consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the work it's doing to combat hate groups and anti-Muslim bigotry.
The suit names Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg as defendants, as well as two of Facebook's top policy leads, Joel Kaplan and Kevin Martin. The suit cites Zuckerberg's past testimony to Congress as evidence of his misrepresentations, as well as research that points to extensive anti-Muslim bias on the platform.
The suit appears designed to circumvent Facebook's Section 230 immunity by taking aim at the things Zuckerberg and others have said themselves about the company. "What we're saying in the lawsuit to Facebook is, 'Do one of two things: Stop lying, or have your actions conform to your statements,'" Muslim Advocates lawyer Mary Bauer told NPR.
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson told NPR, "We do not allow hate speech on Facebook and regularly work with experts, non-profits, and stakeholders to help make sure Facebook is a safe place for everyone, recognizing anti-Muslim rhetoric can take different forms."