Last year on International Human Rights Day, December 10th 2013, the Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI) released a major report into the growing problem of online hate targeting the Muslim community. The report, titled ‘Islamophobia on the Internet: The growth of online hate targeting Muslims’, was made freely available via the OHPI website. In the last year, as anti-Muslim hate has continued to rise, this report has been shared over 2600 times. This briefing provides an update on Facebook’s response to last year’s report. The results demonstrate that self-regulation is failing badly.
Two months prior to publishing the report OHPI shared the list of 50 anti-Muslim hate pages being examined with Facebook. Despite this, the vast majority of the pages were not removed prior to the reports publication, in fact just 6 of the pages had been closed. Now, a year later, we have re-examined this 2013 list of pages. In the past year a further 10 of the pages have been closed. This means that more than a year after notifying Facebook of these page, and after publishing content explaining the problem with each and every page, a total of just 16 of these pages have been closed, while 32 of these hate pages remain online. At the Online Hate Prevention Institute we don’t believe results like this are acceptable.
While some items have been removed, and others vanished as pages were closed, there is no excuse for so many of these items to remain online a year later. Either Facebook doesn’t understand why these items breach its own terms of service, or their systems are ineffective at implementing their own policies.
The day before International Human Rights Day this year, i.e. on December 9th 2014, OHPI are launching a new tool that will empower users and bring transparency to the way social media companies respond to user complaints. For more information, see here.
The full report can be seen or downloaded below.