24 Jun Facebook expands its hate-fighting counterspeech initiative in Europe
Facebook has launched a 3rd counterspeech initiative in Europe, partnering with the not-for-profit Institute for Strategic Dialogue for the launch of the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI), which is geared toward tackling on-line extremism and hate speech.
COO Sheryl Sandberg launched the initiative in London this morning together with Sasha Havlicek, CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and with the UK founding companions for the initiative who’re:
- Brendan Cox, Jo Cox Foundation — a company named after a UK MP who was murdered by a right-wing extremist final 12 months
- Mark Gardner, Community Security Trust — a company that works to fight antisemitism
- Fiyaz Mughal, Tell MAMA — a assist group for victims of anti-Muslim hate
- Shaukat Warraich, Imams Online — a web based info portal that goals to showcase constructive Islamic content material
The OCCI will commit monetary and advertising and marketing assist to UK NGOs working to counter on-line extremism, together with the 4 listed above.
Facebook stated the intention is to deliver collectively consultants to develop greatest apply and instruments for folks to have interaction in counter speech.
The transfer follows comparable initiatives launched by the corporate in Germany in January 2016 and in France in March 2017. At the preliminary launch in Germany Facebook pledged greater than €1 million in funding for NGOs underneath the OCCI program.
It’s not clear if Facebook has since expanded its funding dedication for this system — we’ve requested and can replace this put up with any response.
In the UK the OCCI will present:
- Training for NGOs to assist them to watch and reply to extremist content material, and a devoted assist desk to allow them to talk instantly with Facebook
- Marketing assist for NGOs to undertake counterspeech campaigns via Facebook’s inventive store and Facebook promoting credit
- Best apply sharing with NGOs, authorities and different on-line providers
- Financial assist for educational analysis on on-line and offline patterns of extremism — and what makes an efficient response
Overall, the initiative goals to allow a group of native organisations and activists to “share campaigns, experiences, advice and challenges” — utilizing Facebook’s personal Groups function as their networking media.
To date, Facebook says OCCI throughout Europe has engaged in direct coaching at OCCI Counterspeech Labs and workshops with greater than 100 anti-hate and anti-extremism organisations, reaching some three.5 million folks on-line by way of — you guessed it — its Facebook web page.
The firm has beforehand talked about how counterspeech coaching is part of its technique to sort out on-line extremism, noting this in its first Hard Questions put up — which targeted on what it’s doing to counter terrorism.
Hard Questions is a collection of coverage discussions the corporate introduced and initiated final week, soliciting suggestions from customers on quite a lot of questions and considerations — from countering the unfold of extremist content material to contemplating whether or not social media is usually good for democracy?
And given Facebook’s staggering dimension — with the platform now having amassed practically two billion customers globally — the corporate has clearly reached a tipping level in phrases of realizing it should at very least be seen to be acknowledging it has a duty to contemplate the broader impacts of its platform.
The days of Zuckerberg simply with the ability to shrug his shoulders at considerations by claiming Facebook is only a know-how platform are nicely and really behind it.
Yet it stays to be seen what sensible measures and adjustments to how Facebook does enterprise will circulate from this collection of grown up public discussions. And cynical voices may say Facebook is looking for to show criticism of its platform into elevated engagement on its platform.
The firm has actually been dealing with elevated assaults in latest occasions, together with from politicians looking for to scapegoat tech platforms for not doing sufficient to counter extremism.
And — extra broadly — for not taking their social tasks significantly sufficient.
A UK parliamentary committee lately slammed tech giants together with Facebook for taking a laissez-faire angle to content material moderation, for instance — and urged the federal government ought to have a look at implementing fines for failures on this entrance. Something it has stated it’s contemplating.
Meanwhile, in Germany, a legislative proposal that features fines of as much as €50M for social media corporations failing to promptly take away unlawful hate speech after a grievance has gained authorities backing.
Perhaps we subsequently shouldn’t be stunned that Facebook revealed a brand new mission assertion yesterday — saying it now desires to: “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
It’s actually a slogan that higher aligns with present political priorities in a world that’s sounding more and more divided and divisive.
And one which Facebook will certainly be hoping not merely takes the warmth away from its platform, however — by way of the likes of this expanded counterspeech initiative — works to rechannel the unfavorable power being directed at its platform and switch it into improve engagement on its platform.
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