According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, there’s still room for the social network to improve its police on hate speech. After meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel and her chief of staff, Zuckerberg said at an event in Berlin that Facebook was “committed to doing better.”
In light of the great influx of migrants and refugees entering Germany, the country’s authorities have reportedly been “concerned about racist abuse” on the number one social network. Following the meetings with said authorities, Zuckerberg said that he only now realized “how much more we needed to do in this country.”
In his speech, the young CEO said that “hate speech has no place on Facebook and in our community,” which has prompted him to do a better job regarding the concerning policies. Consequently, Zuckerberg said that migrants will now be added to its list of “protected groups.”
Not long ago, in September 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was blatantly confronting Mark Zuckerberg on the fact that Facebook was not harsh enough regarding racist posts on the website.
Her discontent has then turned into investigations that German prosecutors launched into Facebook’s “alleged failure to remove racist hate speech.” During a Select Committee at the House of Commons that took place earlier this year, a Facebook spokesperson said the website was working “very hard to disrupt hate speech on its network.”
According to Facebook’s policies, hate speech is described as “direct and serious attacks on any protected category of people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease.”
Exact data revealing the amount of hate speech that takes place on Facebook has yet to be published. Back in 2012, the Council of Europe released a report claiming that “14,000 problematic social network groups, forums, blogs, Twitter accounts comprised on the subculture of hate.”
However, this report fails to include in its figures all the individual hate speech which occurs on sites such as Facebook. The report noted that it was difficult to release accurate statistics because hate speech is no confined to easily identifiable ‘hate sites’,” but spread all over the internet.
Facebook has also dealt with its own free speech controversy just last week. According to an internal memo, Zuckerberg criticized his employees for crossing out “black lives matter” and changing it to “all lives matter.” The motto was written on a wall inside the company.
“’Black lives matter’ doesn’t mean other lives don’t,” Facebook’s CEO said, “it’s simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve.”
Image Source: Die Zeit