Nearly 100 current and former women political leaders from the U.S. and abroad signed and sent a letter to Facebook executives Thursday, urging the social media giant to make more deliberate moves to protect women—especially women politicians and candidates—from online hate speech and harassment. Led by co-chairs of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the official note comes on the heels of the latest manipulated, viral video targeting Pelosi to make her appear intoxicated (which Facebook added a warning to, but did not remove) and pushes CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to “stop the amplification of gendered disinformation” via the platform. “Gendered disinformation can be understood as the spread of deceptive or inaccurate information and images against women, particularly women in politics, following story lines that often draw on misogyny and distrust of women’s leadership, frequently referring to their sexuality,” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a co-chair of the caucus who helped spearhead the efforts, told Nextgov Friday. Speier explained that she’s been driven to pursue this work since earlier this year when she spoke to Lucina Di Meco, the author of the #ShePersisted study, released in Fall 2019. The research, also highlighted in the policymakers’ letter, encompassed interviews with 88 women leaders in politics, civil society, journalism, television and technology; as well as an analysis of the 2020 primaries and more. It ultimately revealed female candidates “are attacked more often than male candidates by fake news accounts,” and that social media presents a double-edged sword for women in politics.

via bextgov: U.S., International Lawmakers Push Facebook to Stop Online Hate Targeting Women