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Zuckerberg, Chan say they're disgusted by Trump's 'incendiary' posts on Facebook

Some scientists funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative are calling for Facebook to do better.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan at the 2019 Breakthrough Prize ceremony in Mountain View, California.
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan say they're "deeply shaken and disgusted" by President Donald Trump's "divisive and incendiary rhetoric" on Facebook. That's from a letter responding to scientists funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub who are calling for stronger efforts to stop misinformation and inflammatory posts on Facebook.

In the letter, which was posted to Twitter on Thursday by Recode's Teddy Schleifer, the couple stressed that Facebook's actions don't dictate the decisions of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, but noted the relationship between the entities may be creating tension.

"Although CZI and Facebook are entirely separate and independent organizations with different missions and teams, we do share the same co-leader," Chan and Zuckerberg wrote. "In this moment, we understand that CZI's relationship with Facebook is not an easy tension to bridge."

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a philanthropic organization named after Zuckberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is a nonprofit medical research institute. The affiliated researchers often work for prestigious academic institutions like Stanford University, the University of California, Yale University and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

In a letter published earlier this month, a group of 143 scientists said Facebook has let Trump "spread both misinformation and incendiary statements on Facebook" and didn't follow its own policies against inciting violence when it let stand a Trump post that said in part, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Facebook has faced criticism, including from its own employees, over its policies and practices amid widespread anti-racism protests around the United States. Zuckerberg has expressed support for the protests and Black Lives Matter Movement, but also defended Facebook's hands-off response to Trump's controversial posts.

Facebook has pledged $10 million to groups working on racial justice.

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.

See also: Black Lives Matter: Before you protest, know your rights