Sheryl Sandberg is under fire for her work as Chief Operating Officer of Facebook during the 2016 election. The women’s rights organization UltraViolet has withdrawn its earlier support for Sandberg in the run-up to the upcoming election.
The press release, entitled “UltraViolet Says Facebook is Powering Violence that Harms Women,” accuses Facebook’s COO of turning the social media platform into a “right-wing playground.
UltraViolet’s co-founder and CEO, Shaunna Thomas, explained: “In 2012, UltraViolet’s members stood up for Sheryl Sandberg and demanded that she join the board of directors of Facebook – they considered her to be a smart and empathetic leader who is passionate about improving the lives of all women. We were wrong,” said Sheryl Sandberg.
Add: “Sheryl Sandberg is in a position where she could have been a champion for women exposed to Facebook attacks, but she and Mark Zuckerberg have turned Facebook into a right-wing playground where misogyny, racism, disinformation, violence and hateful conspiracy theories grow and spread. Women deserve better”.
Thomas shared the quote on Twitter. “Sheryl Sandberg tells women to ‘lean’ and when they do, they are attacked on the platform she is running on,” Thomas wrote. “We have enough. Keep an eye out this weekend for an ad from us challenging her and Facebook and demanding changes NOW”.
Sheryl Sandberg tells the women to run inâlean inâ, and when they do, they will be attacked on the platform she is running on. We have enough. Keep an eye out this weekend for an ad from us challenging her and Facebook and demanding changes NOW. https://t.co/9i4ULaMpeP
– Shaunna Thomas (@SLThomas) October 30, 2020
On Friday morning, the lobby group also launched a new TV spot. The clip shows “women talking directly to @sherylsandberg about abuse on Facebook and demanding that they lean into FIX IT! UltraViolet also asked its supporters to “listen, share and sign our petition”.
Today we launched a new TV spot with women who talk directly to @sherylsandberg about abuse on Facebook and demand that they lean into FIX IT! Listen to our petition, share and sign it: https://t.co/vGGy3TUoHg pic.twitter.com/h1klkk87e0e
– Ultraviolet (Text JOIN to 98688) (@UltraViolet) October 30, 2020
In the run-up to the 2016 election, the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica received over 87 million Facebook profiles, CNBC reported. The company used the profile data to gain support for Donald Trump, whose comments have undermined women in the past.
Facebook’s response to the scandal did not help, as the company did not publicly respond for five days after Cambridge Analytica’s report was released.
“We know that we cannot stop interfering ourselves,” Sandberg said in September 2018, “We do not have all the investigative tools the government has, and we cannot always trace attacks back to attacks or identify motives. Sandberg then withdrew from her previous statement, claiming that she knew about the company and took responsibility. After the scandal, Sandberg’s status as a female business icon dissolved. Hence UltraViolet’s recent statement.
According to UltraViolet’s website, the “powerful and rapidly growing community” of “one million people is driving feminist cultural and political change. Through human power and strategic advocacy, we are working to improve the lives of women and girls of all identities and backgrounds, as well as all people affected by sexism, by eliminating discrimination and creating costs of sexism”.
Tekk.tv asked Facebook for comments and received no response at the time of publication.