Facebook announces initiative to battle hate speech online

The social network’s COO has unveiled a partnership with a German NGO and a UK organization intended to curb extremist language on its platforms.

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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.

Sandberg explains:

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.

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