Facebook has launched a new campaign against hate speech called the “Online Civil Courage Initiative” (OCCI).
Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg announced the new initiative in Berlin on Monday night, as it’s also supported by the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection among other independent NGOs from Germany and Europe designed to tackle radical and extreme speech.
“We have repeatedly emphasized that Facebook is no place for the dissemination of xenophobia, hate speech or calls for violence,” Sandberg said in a press release. “With this new initiative, we are convinced to better understand and respond to the challenges of extremist speech on the internet.”
Facebook has already pledged more than $1 million towards the campaign, which will focus on helping organizations that are already tackling hate speech, building “best practices” for those groups, and researching the various sources of hate speech.
Facebook is encouraging people to share stories and ideas on the official OCCI Facebook page by using the hashtag #civilcourage to show their support for the initiative.
“The best cure for bad ideas are good ideas,” Sandberg said. “The best remedy for hate is tolerance. Counter speech is incredibly strong — and it takes time, energy and courage.”