Meta on Wednesday announced to expand its flagship counter-speech initiative to Pakistan and the UK to tackle violent extremism, terrorism, and organized hate speech on its platforms.
Meta’s Redirect Initiative, already available in Australia, the US, Germany, and Indonesia, is now entering Pakistan and the UK to “disrupt the connection between followers and the violent, extreme content they seek”.
Now, when someone in Pakistan or the UK searches on Facebook using words associated with organized hate or violent extremism, the top search result will be a link to resources and support for how to leave violence and extremism behind.
“We’re partnering with Shaoor Foundation in Pakistan and Exit UK in the UK,” said Meta.
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Research shows that challenging violent, extremist views with positive counter-speech is one of the most effective ways to combat hate and extremism.
“Counter-speech is only effective if it comes from credible voices, so we’ve partnered with various NGOs and community groups on multiple counter-speech initiatives around the world including community programs, toolkits and research,” said Dr Nawab Osman, Asia Pacific Head of Counter-Terrorism and Dangerous Organizations at Meta.
Counter-speech involves responding to hateful, extremist narratives with empathy and alternative perspectives rather than shutting these conversations down.
Shakoor Foundation has been working for many years, designing and implementing peace development programs in Pakistan.
“Building a society that is inclusive, respectful and peaceful and involves engaging the entire community, enabling people to speak up and providing a safe, accessible space to get support. We are pleased to partner with Meta on the Redirect Initiative to help us scale our efforts and reach more people in need in Pakistan,” said Syed Ali Hameed, Executive Director at Shaoor Foundation
Meta said that it has a team of more than 350 dedicated specialists and sophisticated, proactive detection technology to help it find and remove such hateful content quickly.
“Working in partnership with technology companies like Meta will help ensure the safety and well-being of the public and those that might be vulnerable online,” said Nigel Bromage, Founder of Exit UK.