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Report: Facebook asked anti-gay advocate for advice on content
Shop Catalogue/Flickr (CC-BY)
Facebook reportedly asked Tony Perkins, known for his homophobic beliefs, for his advice on the social media platform’s decisions about what constitutes offensive behavior, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The social media giant allegedly sought advice from Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council (FRC), as part of an effort to reach out to groups across the political spectrum—and mitigate criticism from those on the right.
Facebook has also forged a relationship with the conservative Heritage Foundation, according to the Journal.
The FRC has been billed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-LGBTQ views, and Perkins himself has been listed as an extremist by the organization. The Journal points out that the SPLC is also one of Facebook’s advisors.
Perkins, who has served as FRC’s president since 2003, is known for numerous inflammatory remarks, namely linking homosexuality with pedophilia and sexual assault on CNN when discussing lifting the ban on gays in the Boy Scouts. He also referred to videos from the It Gets Better Project, a campaign designed as a support system for LGBTQ people—as “disgusting” and a ploy to get people “recruit[ed] into that lifestyle.”
His disapproval of homosexuality runs deeper than that—in 2013, he called for a boycott of baking brand Betty Crocker banned because General Mills, the company that manufactures its products made custom cakes for three LGBTQ weddings, according to the SPLC.
Other tech companies like Twitter and YouTube have reached out to conservative groups like Americans for Tax Reform, the Journal reports.
The full report highlights the issues that tech companies face in dealing with offensive content.
Neither Facebook nor Perkins responded to the Daily Dot’s request for comments as of this writing.
According to FRC’s website, a part of their vision is to work towards a world where “all human life is valued.”
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque