Facebook Starts Online Initiative in Europe to Ban “Hate Speech”

Facebook Starts Online Initiative in Europe to Ban “Hate Speech”

Facebook Starts Online Initiative in Europe to Ban “Hate Speech”

Imagine an influx of refugees. Imagine bomb threats, mass shootings crime, violence and mass sexual assaults. Imagine the outrage. Now imagine an attempt to implement damage control and calling the verbal outrage of citizens over injustices on your home turf “hate speech”.

In the virtual world of passive-aggressive comments, behavior and bullying we bring you Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook who has started a new campaign against hate speech on the social networking site. Sandberg is attempting to prove her over $1 billion dollar worth with the “Online Civil Courage Initiative”.

The new initiative was announced in Berlin this past Monday evening and has garnered the support of the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection among other independent NGOs from Germany and Europe designed to tackle radical and extreme speech.

“We have repeatedly emphasized that Facebook is no place for the dissemination of xenophobia, hate speech or calls for violence. With this new initiative, we are convinced to better understand and respond to the challenges of extremist speech on the internet.”

Sandberg, the brains behind “Ban Bossy” is doing what some individuals do best on their Facebook profile statuses: being passive-aggressive. Discouraging and censoring hate speech while promoting “positive dialogue” (ahem).

But what exactly is considered hate speech? Or is this just damage control due to Angela Merkel’s decisions?

So, Zuckerberg is all of a sudden developing a conscience? Selling private information of subscribers to companies? Heading-up the world’s best online stalking device? And yeah, how many marriages dissolved as a result of infidelity that started with a simple “friend request” ending in public newsfeed arguments between scorned parties who threw out obscenities that we did not even know existed? No “hate speech” there.

While all of this is unraveling in Europe, rest assured, it could happen here. The “civil courage” crusaders are coming…only if your views oppose the popular majority. Angry, confused or scared about refugees coming into our country and the vetting process? Want to talk about it on Facebook? You xenophobic bigot, you! Frustrated and outraged about mass sexual assaults committed against innocent women? Hate speech. Want to rip on Christians and curse them out for holding a Bible study at your local coffee haunt? Well, that’s free speech.

“The best cure for bad ideas are good ideas. The best remedy for hate is tolerance. Counter speech is incredibly strong — and it takes time, energy, and courage.” –Sheryl Sandberg

Not sure how this idea fits in as a “good” one. Find someone’s speech offensive? Here’s the deal. You don’t need to report what offends you to the social justice warriors of cyberspace; you, too can be empowered. Here are a few good ideas-and a smart ones, too: the “unfollow”, “hide from timeline” and “unfriend” features. Because there’s nothing civil or courageous in stifling speech-even if it’s under the guise of “tolerance”.

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Ava Gardner