OPEN LETTER TO MARK ZUCKERBERG
January 24, 2022
Mr. Mark Zuckerberg
1601 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Sent via Electronic Mail ([email protected])
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,
As moms, we are grateful for the unique platform Facebook provides for people to connect with similar interests, build communities and come together. One year ago, Moms for Liberty embraced the social platform you built, which has enabled a community of moms, dads, grandparents, neighbors and friends with similar concerns to connect in the “Meta” public square and peaceably assemble for a redress of grievances. Facebook helped us make good on the core rights guaranteed in our First Amendment, rights that extend far beyond the “free speech” debate that occurs between media pundits.
Our 70,000 plus members have worked hard to pursue our mission to empower parents to engage with elected leaders on key issues impacting our children’s education and our families. We have become the largest parent education activist group due, in part, to our presence on social media, and for this we are thankful.
However, we have recently been targeted by powerful and influential organizations that seek to silence us. On October 8, 2021, the National Education Association (NEA) wrote to you and other “Tech Leaders” falsely accusing parent groups of being “radicalized.” The NEA, which has annual revenues of over $375 million demanded that social media companies censor ideas and arguments that it arrogantly and sweepingly labeled “misinformation” or “conspiracy theories.” Moms for Liberty is a group dedicated to peaceful protests and we see ourselves as “Joyful Warriors” protecting and exercising our fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of our children.
In an era where “parental rights” have been slandered as a dog whistle for “radical extremism,” the NEA’s intent seems clear. They want to use any tool at their disposal to push parents out of education. And, unfortunately, it appears that your staff has determined to act as an enforcement agent on their behalf. In the past few weeks 22 of our chapter groups have been issued notifications of community violation and been disabled for posting basic information about local government operations such as school board meeting times, or questions about student textbooks. Our groups have been shut down repeatedly. Our admin accounts have been suspended and our National Page restricted from posting for “security reasons.” We have not been provided with any information about what these “security reasons” might be, leaving us unable to address any concerns. This severely impacts our ability to pursue our core mission of helping American parents organize to participate in the education of their children. One Moms for Liberty group page, from Fort Bend, Texas, was disabled the same day it launched! It did not even have the opportunity to violate whatever vague standards are being enforced against our moms.
These actions follow on the heels of the NSBA labeling parents as “Domestic Terrorists” for exercising their free speech rights afforded by the First Amendment. They later issued an apology, but the damage from the defamatory comments was already done and further impacted our ability to peaceably assemble on your social media platform for the sake of our children.
Mr. Zuckerberg, we appeal to you personally. When you launched Facebook, you had high aspirations for its potential to democratize the world. It was a beautiful vision, but time is also proving a tall order. Today there are powerful, entrenched, deeply ideological interest groups exerting every pressure they can to use your platform in a way that stacks the deck in favor of particular groups at the expense of everyday citizens. We ask that your company apply the same standards to our groups as you apply to others. We are more than happy – actually thrilled – for the opportunity your platform can provide parents and the role it can play in promoting healthy discourse in our country. We simply ask for fair and equal treatment.
Please do not allow factions within your company to side with powerful, partisan factions in American government or with groups such as the NEA. Please reestablish your original, beautiful vision for Facebook. Please do not act as an enforcement agent for the NEA or the Federal Government. Please enable, rather than suppress parent’s ability to participate as citizens, exercising our rights as guaranteed by the First Amendment and enabled by your original vision.
Tiffany Justice & Tina Descovich
Co-founders, Moms for Liberty