Facebook urged to do more against hate speech

This file photo taken on November 21, 2016 shows Facebook logos on the screens of a smartphone (R), and a laptop computer, in central London. (AFP)
Updated 13 February 2017
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Facebook urged to do more against hate speech

ROME: Facebook must do much more to stamp out hate speech on its site, the president of Italy’s Parliament said, warning that rising abuse on various social media was being fueled by fake news.
Laura Boldrini, herself often the focus of sexist insults and online threats, complained to Facebook managers in November about hate speech on the social network and put forward several proposals on ways to deal with the problem.
“Two months after our meeting, they have done nothing. They have not even written to me about what I said. Good manners would have expected at least a reply,” Boldrini told Reuters in a gilded, art-filled room in the Parliament building.
She said she would write an open letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week reiterating her call for a more effective and timely policing of his site.
“His platform risks becoming home to dangerous predators ... the company has to take responsibility for this,” she said.
In a statement, Facebook said it was committed to battling hate speech and fake news, and was working closely with various institutions in Italy to deal with cyberbullying.
Facebook, Twitter, Google’s YouTube and Microsoft agreed last May to an EU code of conduct to tackle online hate speech, pledging to review the majority of valid requests for removal of illegal abuse within 24 hours in Europe.
However, in a report released in December, the European Commission said only 40 percent of hate speech was being reviewed within 24 hours, with wide variations from country to country. In Italy, just 4 percent of hate posts were being removed within a day, the report said.


7D News looks to add new dimension to Middle East affairs

Updated 24 April 2018
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7D News looks to add new dimension to Middle East affairs

LONDON: Do you have a camel at home? Is there an oil wheel in your garden? These are some of the least-informed questions that Dr. Ali Rashid Al-Nuaimi, editor-in-chief of the new media platform 7D News, has encountered on visits to the West.
Al-Nuaimi, a UAE national and member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, said he spotted a gap in the online media market for an outlet “that is a force for good, not just reportage.”
This begins with unpicking stereotypes about the Middle East, Al-Nuaimi said during an interview at the 7D News launch party in London on Thursday.
“What people here in the West know about the Arab world is terrorism, wars, discrimination against women … we want to change it,” he said.
Serving up daily news blasts complemented by background pieces that aim to show “the stories behind the headlines,” as the news service’s slogan reads, the site plans to provide a fresh perspective on the region, beginning with coverage showcasing the “achievements of the UAE.”
Al-Nuaimi said that the London-based news site — which is owned by Emirates Media and Research — was initially envisioned as an Arabic platform.
But Al-Nuaimi decided that English had a more international reach, and said the site will be completely impartial. “There won’t be any no-go areas,” he said.
Basing the site out of London, with reporters in cities around the world, he hopes to have a global impact by targeting an “elite audience” of readers and viewers with the scope to “impact their community.”
This means politicians, public figures, community leaders — those in a position to make a difference, Al-Nuaimi said. Issues including tolerance, integration, extremism and peace-building will be high on the agenda, with a focus on spotlighting leaders contributing to their community.
“I came from a background where I saw the added value of media in countering extremism,” he said.
“We want to look into news, incidents, events with angles that bring people together (rather than) dividing them, bridging the gaps between different cultures, different religions. I think this is a vacuum that needs to be filled.”
Humaira Patel, a reporter who recently joined the 7D team said the platform will feature “news that brings out the best.”
“I think 7D will be different,” she said.