In partnership with Faith Associates, a consultancy organisation which addresses the needs of ethnic minority faith-based communities, Facebook has launched a new guide aimed at improving the safety of the Muslim community online.
The guide - titled 'Keeping Muslims Safe Online: Tackling Hate and Bigotry' - has been produced to support Muslim communities in dealing with risks including bigotry and hate speech, and giving them access to the tools and resources available to stay safe online.
Launched at a parliamentary reception on November 29th, the guide is part of Facebook’s Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI), a counterspeech programme launched in June with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, with MPs invited to speak to Imams from their constituencies about addressing issues affecting Muslim communities across the UK.
Some of the key recommendations from the guide included tackling hateful content on Facebook directly by positively engaging, by not being a bystander if someone is the target of Islamaphobia, by sharing good news stories to help dispels the myths of far right and anti-Muslim voices, and by reporting anyone on Facebook sharing content inspired by terrorist organisations or encouraging others to join extremist groups.
"Faith Associates is excited and privileged to have partnered with Facebook to develop this vital resource for the global Muslim community," said Shaukat Warraich, CEO of Faith Associates. "We have seen the dramatic rise of Islamophobic rhetoric and terrorist inspired content that manifests online and appreciate Facebook’s effort in supporting grass roots organisations to enhance the knowledge and develop the skills of Muslims users to directly deal with it when they see it.
"The guide will also aid the development of Mosques, Madrassahs and Imams in their efforts to deliver a holistic service to their constituencies," Shaukat added. "Faith Associates will be working closely with them to help deliver training on e-safety and facilitate spaces for conversation around pertinent social issues.”
As well as Faith Associates, founding partners of Facebook's OCCI include Community Security Trust, Jo Cox Foundation, and Tell MAMA, which aim to help to tackle online extremism and hate speech in partnership with NGOs and charities across the UK.
“We're proud to be supporting Faith Associates in the development of their online safety guide," said Simon Milner, Head of Policy UK for Facebook. "Facebook welcomes all communities, and there is no place for hate on the platform. 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 counterterrorism experts and reviewers around the world working to keep extremist content off our platform."