Gov. Whitmer writes letter to Facebook CEO in response to Metro Times story about violent group 

click to enlarge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. - TOM PERKINS
  • Tom Perkins
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

On Friday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shared a letter she sent to Mark Zuckerberg following a Metro Times report about a Facebook group where members regularly called for violence against her, other female Democrats, and Muslims, among others. Whitmer sent the letter to the CEO on Wednesday.

In the letter, Whitmer evokes industrial titans like former General Motors chairman William Knudsen, who was called to help his country by contributing to the Arsenal of Democracy during World War II.

“The upcoming 2020 election will undoubtedly have its own historic impact on our nation, and you are today’s corporate titan whose time is now to 'do the right thing' and ensure violent and hateful speech on your platform does not undermine the security of our elections — and the safety of individuals — this year,” Whitmer writes.

Whitmer goes on to describe some of posts reported in Metro Times' story from the Facebook group "The People vs. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer," which included calls for murder and rape.

"As a lawyer who respects the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression, I realize there is only so much purview media platforms have for the content posted by their users," she added. "However, better enforcement of Facebook's own community standards — where 'attacks' are defined as, 'violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation' — this election cycle is needed now more than ever. Mine is not a singular ask."

According to Reuters, Facebook responded in a statement, saying: "Facebook prohibits hate speech and anything that incites or advocates for violence. While we take action against this type of content — in most cases before it’s reported — even a single piece that’s posted is too many. We appreciate Governor Whitmer bringing this to our attention."

You can read Whitmer's full letter below.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation