In an effort to tackle "extremist speech" online, Facebook has announced the launch of a new campaign against hate speech called the "Online Civil Courage Initiative."
The announcement came Monday night as Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg told a gathered crowd in Berlin, supported by the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.
Sandberg released a statement:
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.
According to Tech Insider, the social media giant has pledged over $1 million towards the campaign and has partnered with other organizations, including the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence.
On the official OCCI Facebook page, a post states the initiative "was created… in the hope that we will make a real contribution: helping people respond to hate speech and extremism online, and promoting the civil courage that already exists on Facebook."
Sandberg encouraged users to use the #civilcourage hashtag to show support of the initiative:
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.