Fervent opinions run rampant online, so some social media platforms are cracking down on extremist posts.
On Monday, Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, announced a campaign to battle extremist speech online.
Facebook has teamed up with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, a German NGO
and London-based Amadeu Antonio Foundation to create the Online Civil Courage Initiative.
We have repeatedly emphasized that Facebook is no place for the dissemination of xenophobia, hate speech or calls for violence. With this new initiative,
we are convinced to better understand and respond to the challenges of extremist speech on the Internet.
The initiative will entail giving monetary support to NGOs that are countering online extremism; developing best practices for NGOs, Internet organizations
and governments to deal with hate speech; and conducting research to understand the roots of extremism and hate speech. Facebook has pledged more than $1
million toward the effort.
In November, state prosecutors in Hamburg, Germany, opened an investigation against Matt Ott, Facebook’s managing director of Northern, Central and Eastern
Europe. They alleged Ott did not do enough to monitor and stop hate speech on Facebook,
In December, both Google and Twitter pledged to delete hate speech posted on their platforms in Germany within 24 hours.
Facebook experiments with new browser
Facebook is testing a new browser that would enable users to read articles without leaving the social media platform.
The Next Web reported that the browser, which is being piloted with several iOS users, looks cleaner and has several new features:
Up top, it [seems] you can now actually input your own URL should you want to check another page without leaving the Facebook app. You might want to
fact-check a detail on an article you read, for instance, or define a word you didn’t understand.
Meanwhile a new bar on the bottom tells you how popular a post is, includes back and forward buttons (finally), lets you bookmark pages, and has a
menu button which likely includes a few more features too (unfortunately we can’t access the new browser ourselves yet).
The browser is another move by Facebook to offer users an all-in-one experience that will keep them from moving to a different website. It follows the
platform’s launch of Instant Articles,
which shows mobile Facebook users articles from publisher partners. The articles load much faster than through publisher websites.
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“With a good enough browser, the Facebook app could essentially become a self-contained ecosystem of its own,” The Next Web reports.