Anti-racism campaigners revealed that Islamophobia is a phenomenon that keeps increasing. According to them companies like Twitter and Facebook are letting Islamophobia flourish by not taking actions against it. It’s morally unacceptable to have these views promoted through social media. One given example is the case of a Facebook user who referred to the beheading of Westerners in Syria when he posted the following message on Facebook: “For every person beheaded by these sick savages we should drag 10 off the streets and behead them, film it and put it online. For every child they cut in half … we cut one of their children in half. An eye for an eye.”. While this message might not be against Facebook or Twitter rules some people will surely find it offensive.
The volume of such posts increased considerably in the last months. One of the reasons that contributed to this was the murder of British hostages held by ISIS and the Rotherham sex abuse scandal. One could argue that this is just freedom of expression and that by allowing it to happen a social media website can maintain a safe and trusted environment for its users. This seems to be Facebook’s view on things too according to different analysts. But when reached for comment the two companies had the following to say.
Facebook statement was: “We take hate speech seriously and remove any content reported to us that directly attacks others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition”. Twitter statement was: “We review all reported content against our rules, which prohibit targeted abuse and direct, specific threats of violence against others.”