It looks like Facebook is beginning to shut down accounts in Europe that speak out against Muslim immigrants because that’s considered “hate speech.”
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, wasted no time leaning in and explaining that because hate speech “has no place in our society,” the site will be implementing its “Initiative for Civil Courage Online,” which will slowly but surely purge Europe of all xenophobic rhetoric. Facebook is doing this by allocating $1.09 million to support non-government organizations that are attempting to curb online threats and hate speech.
The platform already has rules that ban harassment and threats, but the Initiative for Civil Courage Online takes this opposition to the next level.
In Germany, especially, hateful speech regarding the influx of refugees has been a problem that officials have spoken out against repeatedly. In November, prosecutors in Hamburg began investigating Facebook for not doing enough to prevent the dissemination of hate speech, according to Reuters. The Initiative comes on the heels of this investigation and a public urging from Chancellor Angela Merkel for the social media company to do more to prevent online harassment.
It’s unclear just what level of “hate speech” will be targeted for expulsion – is it merely advocating against Muslim immigrants, or does it have to carry a violent tone as well?
And how long before they start implementing that policy in America too?