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Islamophobic content meets community standard, Facebook tells users

CALIFORNIA: The social media giant is telling users that Islamophobic content, circulated by a secret network of far-right pages, cannot be taken down because it meets the company’s ‘community standards’.

Despite finding evidence that such content is a calculated act of spreading hatred and disinformation, Facebook has refused to take any action.

According to The Guardian, an Israel-based group gained access to around 21 far-right Facebook pages that have a huge reach in the western world.
With more than a million followers, the pages were involved in spreading false news to propagate agenda for far-right politicians and presenting Muslim politicians in a negative light.

The main motive for this appears to be financial, these pages earn a lot of money through ads.

After an investigation conducted by The Guardian, Facebook looked in the matter and disabled pages and accounts which were spamming hateful content for financial gain.

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However, several posts distributed through the pages have been concluded to meet community standards.

The posts taken down by Facebook include one on the Australian Facebook page “Assimilate or Migrate” that falsely associates the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, with the quote “The killing of Jews by Hezbollah is not terrorism”.

Another page used an edited image of Merkel with blood splattered on her hands and face in a story about Germany’s support for “pro-Hamas” resolutions at the United Nations.

Another post was about child brides in Turkey and their attack on Muslims; such spam pages generate a lot of traffic for money.

To understand why such posts were considered acceptable, The Guardian reached out to Facebook.

“We’ve taken action on a number of pages and accounts, some of which were shared by The Guardian Australia, and we’ll continue to take action if we find any further violations,” said Facebook spokesman.

Despite taking down some pages on Friday, there is not enough being done to stop these coordinated acts of hatred been spread on social media platform especially concerning the Cambridge Analytica and Russian interference scandals.

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg was under fire and had to apologise to the US Congress after they questioned him on the company’s failure.

The inquiry has also reached the Australian parliament.

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“I don’t think we’ve got this right yet, I don’t think the social media platforms have got this right yet and part of the job of this committee is actually to get all of those stakeholders in the room and create a forum where we can have a really good discussion about what are the boundaries, about what is and isn’t acceptable on these type of matters,” said Labor MP Jenny McAllister.

There isn’t enough been done to keep Facebook a safe and user-friendly social media platform, such unauthentic pages encourage extremist behavior and actions that affect all members of the society.

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