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Social media must tackle hate speech: charities

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Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has come under fire for not taking action on the matter. (stock photo)

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has come under fire for not taking action on the matter. (stock photo)

PA Archive/PA Images

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has come under fire for not taking action on the matter. (stock photo)

A group of UK charities has threatened to curb spending on social media engagement if platforms like Facebook do not tackle hate speech.

Some 37 charities - including Barnardo's, Mind, and Parkinson's UK - are together reviewing how social media giants could reduce hate speech on their sites.

This comes as a growing list of global firms including Starbucks, Coca Cola and Unilever have halted advertising on Facebook because of its failure to stand up against hate speech.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has come under fire for not taking action on the matter, keeping up a post by Donald Trump, in which the president said "when the looting starts, the shooting starts", during protests across the US over the death of George Floyd.

Now many UK charities have said they will recommend changes that social media sites should make, adding they will not tolerate discrimination of any kind being given a voice through online platforms.

In a joint statement, they said: "As charities, we recognise that these platforms have a role to play in allowing us to connect with supporters and beneficiaries from all backgrounds.

"But we also know that not enough is being done to stop posts which incite hate and violence being made visible.

"No one should have to see these messages in their day to day lives, and especially not when trying to access ongoing information and support.

"We believe that it's time for social media platforms to be better, and do better by the people who use them.

"It's time for them to take action to make their platforms more inclusive, a place for connecting and debate, not hate," they added.

Other signatories include Friends of the Earth, Help for Heroes, Teach First, and Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Belfast Telegraph