SHAFAQNA- Facebook has created a guide to improving the safety of Muslims online, in an effort to combat Islamaphonia, racism and hate speech levelled at the community. 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”, Simon Milner, Head of Policy UK at Facebook said.
The guide contains advice on reporting abusive comments and content to Facebook and the police, restricting the audience for what is shared on the social network and how to support somebody who is being attacked for being a Muslim.
It will be launched at a parliamentary reception, where MPs will be invited to speak to Imams from their constituencies about the issues facing Muslim communities.
Muslims are targetted by both far-right groups and Dae’sh recruiters seeking to radicalise through social media channels, the guide explains.
“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,” it advises.
“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.”
Online hate speech aimed at Muslims in the UK was found to have “soared” in a Council of Europe report published last year, due in part to police uncertainty as to what the law is.
It found that targetting of Muslim women in particular has risen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Of 548 Islamophobic incidents reported to the anti-discrimination Tell MAMA group, 408 took place online.
We must not tolerate Islamophobia in any form of media “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,” said Imam Adam Kelwick, from Liverpool. “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 in staying safe online, and encouraging conversation around social issues.
Facebook welcomes all communities on its platform, and is not a place for hate, Mr Milner added.
“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.”
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