Facebook Ireland today launched a new on-platform campaign to educate users on how to identify and report hate speech on the platform. Over the last few years, Facebook has expanded its policies to provide greater protections to people from different types of abuse and also improved enforcement of these policies.

The educational video which features three questions: What is hate speech? How to stop hate speech?; How to report hate speech? will roll out across Newsfeeds in Ireland from today. It helps Facebook users to understand, identify and report hate speech by explaining;

  • What is hate speech? Facebook does not allow attacks against any person or group of people based on certain characteristics – like their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
  • How to stop hate speech? If someone uses a known derogatory word to describe a person based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation, that’s hate speech.
  • How to report hate speech? Click the three dots next to the post you’d like to mark as hate speech. Click “Report”, select “Hate speech” and the applicable characteristic. Confirm and file the report.

Facebook removes hate speech when it becomes aware of it through user reports. The company is also taking proactive measures in its approach to tackling hate speech, and has created innovative AI technology designed to identify hateful content. As a result of the rapid advancement of this technology, Facebook proactively detects about 95% of the hate speech content that is removed from the platform.

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Dualta Ó 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.”

As part of Facebook’s ongoing policy development process, it seeks input and expertise from a range of stakeholders, including civil society organisations, activist groups, and external experts. In Ireland, Facebook works with INAR (Irish Network Against Racism).

Commenting on the campaign, Claudia Hoareau, Vice-Chair of INAR 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.” 

Facebook and Instagram have signed an EU Code of Conduct committed to countering the spread of illegal hate speech online.

Earlier this week, Facebook also 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.

To learn more about tackling hate speech on Facebook, view the educational video at Facebook Ireland.

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.