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Facebook Launches Initiative To Fight Online Hate Speech

Facebook says it will train and support non-government organisations to spot and respond to hate speech and extremism

Facebook Says It Will Support & Train Non-Governmental To Spot & Respond To Hate Speech & Extremism

Facebook is launching a UK initiative to train and fund local organisations to combat extremism and hate speech.

The UK Online Civil Courage Initiative's initial partners include Imams Online and the Jo Cox Foundation.

'We Have More To Do' - Facebook's Chief Operating Officer

Facebook has faced criticism for being slow to react to terrorist propaganda on its platforms.

"The recent terror attacks in London and Manchester - like violence anywhere - are absolutely heartbreaking," said Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.

"No-one should have to live in fear of terrorism - and we all have a part to play in stopping violent extremism from spreading.

"We know we have more to do - but through our platform, our partners and our community we will continue to learn to keep violence and extremism off Facebook."

International Initiatives

Similar initiatives to counter hate speech were launched in Germany in January 2016 and in France in March 2017.

They have held training workshops with more than 100 anti-hate and anti-extremism organisations across Europe, and reached 3.5 million people online through its Facebook page.


In the UK, people are being encouraged to visit the UK OCCI Facebook page, to share stories, content and ideas, and use the hashtag #civilcourage.

Brendan Cox, the widower of murdered MP Jo Cox and the founder of the Jo Cox Foundation, has welcomed the move.

"This is a valuable and much needed initiative from Facebook in helping to tackle extremism," he said.

"Anything that helps push the extremists even further to the margins is greatly welcome. Social media platforms have a particular responsibility to address hate speech that has too often been allowed to flourish online.

"It is critical that efforts are taken by all online service providers and social networks to bring our communities closer together and to further crack down on those that spread violence and hatred online."

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