Facebook has been warned about not doing enough to counter xenophobic comments.
Facebook has been warned about not doing enough to counter xenophobic comments.

Facebook to target hate speech online

Facebook has launched a million Euro plan to help get rid of racist and threatening posts from the site.

The "Initiative for Civil Courage Online" aims to remove hate speech from the site by finding and then removing comments that promote xenophobia.

Facebook has a range of rules for what exactly can be posted on the site, which includes bullying, harassment and hate speech. But users have complained that the site doesn't work hard enough to get rid of hateful comments.

The work will particularly concentrate on Germany. There, it will work with a unit of the publisher Bertelsmann to watch for and then get rid of racist posts.

Germany has been hit particularly by the spread of hate speech on the site. The country is struggling to cope with a huge number of refugees, including 1.1 million in the last year, and many voice their dislike for foreigners and migrants on the site.

What do you think of the Facebook plan?

This poll ended on 27 January 2016.

Current Results

Great. Long overdue


It will never work. There is too much of it


People should have a right to say what they want


People should be protected from racial or religious attacks online


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The criticism of Facebook became so strong that Hamburg prosecutors investigated Facebook because of its role in allowing such hate speech.

The criticism also came from Angela Merkel, who asked that Facebook do more to identify criminal posts more quickly.

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said that "Hate speech has no place in our society - not even on the internet". "Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence," she said as she announced the launch of the initiative.