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Search date: 05-05-2018 Return to current date: Click here

Annan tells Facebook to act faster on hate speech

May 05, 2018 00:00:00

SAN FRANCISCO, May 4 (Reuters): Former UN chief Kofi Annan told Facebook Inc on Thursday that it should consider establishing a special team to respond more quickly to threats of sectarian violence in countries such as Myanmar that are at high risk.

Facebook, the world's largest social network, is under pressure from authorities and rights groups in many countries for its role in spreading hate speech, false stories and government-sponsored propaganda.

Annan, appearing on stage before an audience of Facebook employees, was asked by Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox if he had a recommendation for the company to help protect elections.

He responded that Facebook should look for societies where people are likely to put out "poisonous messages," and then monitor the language there. Facebook could "organize sort of a rapid response force, rapid reaction group, who can be injected into a situation, when you see it developing, so that they can try to see what advice they can give the electoral commission or those involved," Annan said, according to a live broadcast of the event.

Facebook says it has more than 7,500 workers who review posts for compliance with its rule book.

It some countries, though, it acknowledges it is short-handed. It said last month that it needed more people to work on public policy in Myanmar.

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