The Online Hate Prevention Institute welcomes the news that from next week Facebook will be taking greater efforts to ban white supremacy on the Facebook and Instagram platforms.
Facebook and Twitter took similar action against the Alt-Right after Charlottesville. That move significantly dented the Alt-Right and we expect this latest move in the fight against hate will do the same with respect to white supremacy. It will do doubt also feed the white supremacist groups narrative of hate, but despite that, taking away their social media megaphone is the right move.
A similar move is needed on Islamophobia as defined in the report of the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims last year. That definition is :
Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.
As well as on antisemitism as defined by IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism which is now widely adopted by governments around the world.
Facebook also need to finally change their policy and agree to ban Holocaust denial, a staple of the white supremacy movement.
The solution to extremist hate speech requires a whole of society response as we highlighted at a meeting with government and technology companies last year. We welcome the commitment by Facebook to work further with civil society on this issue. We highlight the need for both expertise and local knowledge. the language of hate varies in different places as it adopts to local events, culture and personalities.
We’ve been fighting this battle since we were founding in January 2012. Our CEO has been leading the global fight against hate speech in social media since 2007. The Online Hate Prevention Institute has made a significant different in this space with recommendations for technology change being taken up by the platforms and awareness being raised with political leaders, technology leaders, within the United Nations and UNESCO. Our report on Christchurch and wider background briefing give some ideas on what can be done, and needs to be done. We are doing everything we can within the limited of our resources, and we invite the public to help us ramp us our capacity by supporting our campaign. We invite governments, businesses and indeed the major technology platforms to work with us in tackling the growing problem of online hate and extremism.