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CoE calls Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to oppose hate speech

12.07.2013 - 16:47

Council of Europe’s Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, has sent a letter to Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg aksing him to support the “no hate speech” movement.

Recently the organisation launched the movement targeting also hatred and violence on the Internet.

“As Secretary General of the Council of Europe, I invite to you to say NO to such hatred,” says Jagland in his letter which comes out on the day Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who survived a gunshot by the Taliban, turns 16.

“Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived a gunshot to the head by the Taliban is a symbol of hope and inspiration for millions of people around the world,” continues the letter and adds: “Sadly, Malala’s yearning for the right to education is not shared by all, as her address today at the United Nations has provoked insults and threats against her, including on Facebook.”

The girl delivers today a speech at the UN headquarters in New York as part of her campaign to ensure free compulsory education for every child.

The Secretary General says that the Council of Europe appreciates Facebook, “as it provides a platform for dialogue and positive change throughout the world.” However, he also says he is worried about inciting hatred and violence on the Internet and points out that Yousafzai is still facing threats against her life on Facebook.

“We cannot tolerate incitement to hatred and violence against Malala,” states Jagland and ask Zuckerberg for his support against hate speech online.

It is still unclear whether the Facebook CEO will respond positively to Jagland’s calls and will join the CoE in its efforts to fight intolerance and hatred online. However, this is quite possible to happen, having in mind Zuckerberg’s recent shift in interest towards human rights protection and immigration reform in the United States.