Facebook to Crack Down on Anti-Women Hate Speech After Boycott
Facebook Inc. said it would make a greater effort to identify and remove hate speech after a group of protesters convinced more than a dozen advertisers to boycott the giant social network unless it cracked down on content that encourages violence against women.
Facebook said it would review how it evaluates reports of hate speech and improve training for online moderators. The Menlo Park, Calif., company said it would also pay closer attention to “cruel or insensitive” content even if it does not technically qualify as hate speech.
Facebook is overwhelmingly popular with women. More than half of Facebook users are women.
Women, Action, and the Media, a group that focuses on gender bias, and other activists wrote an open letter to Facebook last week complaining about disturbing content on the service. They pointed to pages with titles such as “Kicking your girlfriend in the fanny because she won’t make you a sandwich” and “Violently raping your friend just for laughs” and photographs of women bruised, tied up and bleeding with captions such as “Next time don’t get pregnant.”
Women, Action, and the Media called on Facebook in the open letter to take action against “groups, pages and images that explicitly condone or encourage rape or domestic violence or suggest that they are something to laugh or boast about.”