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Facebook launches campaign to drive out hate speech

Cate McCurry, PA
·2-min read

Facebook has launched a new campaign to educate users on how to identify and report hate speech on the social media site.

The social media giant said it has expanded its policies to protect people from different types of abuse.

The educational video features questions about hate speech and how to report it. It will be seen in newsfeeds across the site from today.

The company said the video will explain what hate speech is, how to stop hate speech and how to flag it on the site.

Facebook said it removes hate speech when it becomes aware of it through user reports, and said it has created AI technology designed to identify hateful content.

Around 95% of the hate speech content removed from the platform is detected by the site, according to Facebook.

Dualta O Broin, head of public policy at Facebook Ireland said: “At Facebook, we have a zero-tolerance policy against hate speech but we understand that this doesn’t mean zero-occurrence.

“We have worked hard and invested substantially to put in place the right tools and technologies to identify and remove any content that contravenes our hate speech policy.

“We are encouraged to see a strong AI detection rate and we are also encouraging our users to continue to report hate speech in order to improve and maintain the positive user experience for everyone on the platform.”

Claudia Hoareau, vice-chairwoman of Irish Network Against Racism, said: “We welcome this important drive to eliminate hate content from Facebook, and the tools which Facebook have developed for users to work with the platform to report and eliminate hate.

“Hate speech divides communities, stifles debate, entrenches inequality and silences minorities. We are delighted Facebook is taking a more robust stance, and urge users to take a zero tolerance approach to hate content and to always report.”

Earlier this week, Facebook announced a new measure to combat anti-Semitic hate speech, which will connect people in Ireland with authoritative information about the Holocaust.

Anyone who searches on Facebook for terms associated with either the Holocaust or Holocaust denial, will see a message from Facebook encouraging them to connect with credible information about the Holocaust off Facebook.