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UK charities come together to address hate speech on social media (6 July 2020)

This July, Facebook’s policies for addressing hate speech are under increasing global scrutiny as big businesses boycott advertising on the platform. But the reality is that this is a problem for any organisation which uses their platforms.

In response to this moment, Health in Mind has joined forces with 37 other charities to form a working group which will review what’s happening, how it impacts our ability to support beneficiaries and bring recommendations of change to the social media owners.

As charities, we recognise that these platforms have a role to play in allowing us to connect with supporters and beneficiaries from all backgrounds. But we also know that not enough is being done to stop posts which incite hate and violence being made visible. No one should have to see these messages in their day to day lives, and especially not when trying to access ongoing information and support.

We believe that it’s time for social media platforms to be better, and do better by the people who use them. It’s time for them to take action to make their platforms more inclusive, a place for connecting and debate, not hate.

Hate, whether it’s based on race, gender, sexuality, disability, religious beliefs or any other characteristic, is not acceptable in society. And we all have a part to play in stopping its spread. We believe it’s important that Facebook and other social media owners hear this message loud and clear from as many people, and sectors, as possible.

Together, we will take stock of what’s happening, scaling back our social media spend where we can, without it impacting our ability to deliver vital services.We’ll review  ethical marketing policies, and see how these align with those of our partners. And where there is difference, we’ll be taking combined recommendations to the social media platforms to show them how they can do better for those we support.

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