Facebook hate speech continues to spread across the world

Facebook hate speech continues to spread across the world

Previously, I’ve posted about how unfettered hate speech on Facebook has led from everything to ethnic cleansing, to lynch mobs and refugee persecution from Myanmar to Germany. Now imagine you open Facebook in your browser today and you read about how a group of ‘patriots’ wants to go all vigilante on an entire ethnicity just because a few people of that ethnicity have committed a crime. If you were in America you may think we’ve somehow traveled back in time to the Jim Crow-era South, but in Australia, that’s happening right now in the city of Melbourne, where many white citizens, politicians and some of the media are blaming on the Sudanese community.

In America, we tend to have a very narrow view of the rest of the world as we tend to be a very insular country. This results in sometimes viewing countries like Myanmar as third-world countries and that they’re problems don’t affect us. However, we’re now talking about Australia. While they may be on the other side of the globe, they are one of the most prosperous countries in the world in both finance and freedoms. The ignorant hate speech in Australia calling for violence against the Sudanese is just a small example of what could happen here in the U.S. if we’re not careful.

As The Guardian points out, Facebook has no real incentive to try to curb hate speech on its platform. If it were to do so, it would not only cut into the company’s growth but its profits as well. Just look at the situation in Myanmar for example, Facebook wouldn’t even lift a finger to curb hate speech against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar until the United Nations accused Myanmar’s leadership of allegedly committing genocide.

If hate speech is to be curbed on Facebook it needs to be done by us, its users. The best way to do that would be to abandon the platform since it has become a haven for toxic behavior. If Facebook can’t control the power it’s unleashed on the world then we have to take back the power for ourselves by making Facebook a footnote in online history, much like Facebook did to MySpace.