Facebook launches the Online Civil Courage Inititative in the UK to fight hate speech

FacebookFacebook is working to remove hate speech from its platform in the UK with the launch of the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI).

The OCCI, which has already launched in Germany and France, has been brought to the UK in partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation – the charity setup by the husband of MP Jo Cox who was killed by a far-right extremist – as well as the Community Security Trust, Tell Mama, Imams Online, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

The decision to launch the Initiative in the UK will go some way to keeping the government happy, following prime minister Theresa May’s remarks earlier this month when she dubbed social media platforms as ‘safe spaces’ for terrorists.

The OCCI will provide financial support to NGOs focused on countering online extremism, as well as work with experts to create tools and guidance to help people to find ways to stand up against hate speech.

“The recent terror attacks in London and Manchester – like violence anywhere – are absolutely heartbreaking. No one should have to live in fear of terrorism – and we all have a part to play in stopping violent extremism from spreading,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO.

“The UK Online Civil Courage Initiative will support NGOs and community groups who work across the UK to challenge the extremist narratives that cause such harm. We know we have more to do – but through our platform, our partners and our community we will continue to learn to keep violence and extremism off Facebook.”