Facebook’s policies for addressing hate speech are currently under global scrutiny, as businesses and corporations across the world boycott advertising on the Facebook platform.
We are joining 36 other charities across the sector, with whom we have formed a working group, to stand against and address hate speech on all social media sites.
We believe that not enough is being done to prevent and take down posts that incite hate and violence against individuals or groups. We believe that no one should have to see these harmful messages in their day to day lives, and especially not when trying to access information and support from a charity support service.
Hate speech, whether it’s based on race, gender, sexuality, disability, religious beliefs or any other characteristic, is not acceptable in society. We believe it is important that Facebook and other social media platforms hear this message loud and clear from as many people and sectors as possible.
Our working group will review and make recommendations for using and engaging with social media platforms, in order to ensure the sites we communicate on are as inclusive, accessible and accepting as possible.
By working together, we hope to uncover the real impact that hate speech on social media has on our staff and beneficiaries.
We want to identify common issues across the sector, and come up with recommendations that will make social media a better and safer place for charities, service users and wider audiences.
We fear that the hate speech that we see on these platforms is potentially stopping us from reaching everyone we exist to help. People are increasingly turning away from social media platforms to avoid the harm and negativity, and this is preventing them from accessing the assistance and benefits that our charities can offer.
Although we feel strongly that this action must be taken, we also recognise that it should not impact our ability to carry out our vital work. Therefore, whilst we have chosen to pause the majority of online advertising on Facebook for the remainder of July, we will still be running a small number of pre-scheduled campaign posts. Cancelling these would have a direct and detrimental effect on our charity, and in these challenging times, it is crucial that we continue to reach our service users and raise vital income.
For organisations like us, social media will always have an important role to play. We want online platforms to be held accountable for how they operate, and we want them to help us to build supportive communities. We look forward to making our recommendations in due course.
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