Facebook has not done enough to fight discrimination and civil rights abuse on its platform, an independent audit commissioned by the company has shown.

According to the New York Times, auditors found that Facebook had been too willing to exempt politicians from abiding by its rules, allowing them to spread misinformation, harmful and divisive rhetoric, and even calls to violence.

The auditors also said Facebook has adopted a hands-off approach to political speech compared to other social media platforms.

The audit team cited a controversial post by President Donald Trump in May which Twitter flagged as an incitement to violence but was allowed by Facebook.

Facebook commissioned Laura Murphy, a former director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative office, to lead the audit of its civil rights policies in 2018.

The audit was the company’s response to a range of criticisms over issues such as data privacy, voter suppression, incitement of violence and a lack of transparency in political advertising.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said the company was already making “changes” based on recommendations given by the audit.

The report comes at a time when 900 advertisers, including major brands like Coca-Cola, are boycotting the social media platform over what civil rights campaigners say is its promotion of hate speech.

Organisers of the advertising boycott, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the NAACP, met for more than an hour via video conference with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, alongside Sandberg on Tuesday



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