Hate speech and bigotry: Facebook creates guide for safety of Muslims online

Facebook is no place for hate, share true Islamic messages of peace, mercy and tolerance.

Hyderabad: Finally, Facebook has taken the initiative of developing a safety guide for Muslims, an effort to fight against rising Islamophobia, racism in many countries.

Simon Milner, Head of Policy UK at Facebook in a statement said the safety guidelines ‘Keeping Muslims Safe Online: Tackling Hate and Bigotry’ was written in partnership with non-theological consultancy Faith Associates and is designed to “empower Muslim users of Facebook.”

The book is all set to be launched at a parliamentary reception in the UK where all MPs will be invited to speak to Imams and to discuss the rise in Islamophobia against the Muslim community.

The guide specifically has advice on reporting hate crimes, abusive comments, content which is widely offending against the Muslim community, the Police along with restricting audience of sharing abusive content and how to support the victims of this abuse for being a Muslim.

As many hate crimes have been reported, Muslims girls as young as seven were even subjected to hate crime. The Muslim community is brutally targeted for various reasons as simple as sharing any content which is taken as an offense by the many groups worldwide and also Daesh recruiters who seek to radicalize through social media platforms, the guide explains.

It advises, “If you see someone sharing Daesh inspired content and encouraging others to join extremist groups, report them and then make or share posts that show true Islamic messages of peace, mercy and tolerance.”

“If you see someone being targetted for being a Muslim, don’t be a bystander. Send them supportive messages and share your good news stories of how we contribute to society to help dispel the myths and lies of far-right and anti-Muslim voices.”

Well, the company’s UK head of policy says, ‘Facebook is no place for hate’.

But according to a report published last year in Council of Europe, online hate speech against Muslims in the UK was found to have “soared” due in part to police uncertainty as to what the law is.

The report found that hate crime against the Muslim women have drastically increased particularly on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The statistics of Tell MAMA group says nearly 408 Islamophobic incidents reported to the anti-discrimination of 548 incidents were online.

Liverpool Imam Adam Kelwick said, “Recent statistics and trends are showing that hate and expressions of hate within our society are on the increase and they seem to be coming from all different segments of society,” adding, “It is times like this when we all have to come together and challenge this hatred.”

Faith Associates will work closely with Mosques, Madrassahs and Imams to train them to stay safe against the racism.

Mr Milner added that Facebook welcomes all communities on its platform, and is not a place for hate.

“We work in a number of ways to tackle this issue – from the use of artificial intelligence to find and remove terrorist propaganda, to our teams of counter-terrorism experts and reviewers around the world working to keep extremist content off our platform.”