Italy’s lower house parliament president, Laura Boldrini, accused Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) of not doing enough to combat hate speech on the social forum. Boldrini warns that the growing abuse of the site is as a result of the spread of so-called “fake news”.
Boldrini a Facebook victim
Boldrini is often a subject of online threats and sexist insults on the site. In November 2016, she wrote to Facebook complaining about the hate speech and insults hurled at her on the social media site. She even proposed to Facebook ways it could deal with the problem.
But Facebook does not seem to take her seriously
According to Boldrini, Facebook has not addressed her problem, yet it is now over two months since she reported it. Some of the insults directed to her include “Why has no one killed this terrorist yet” and “Boldrini you are a handicapped whore.”
Boldrini made an effort to flag the posts as inappropriate like any other Facebook user would do. But even after flagging the posts, most remain on her page.
Boldrini is not relenting
Boldrini said that she would write an open Later to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, this week. She hopes that the CEO will take her requests seriously, and implement effective policies addressing hate speech on the site.
She said Facebook risks becoming “a home for dangerous predators.” According to her, the company should be held responsible. Reuters reports.
The European Union and Social Media platforms agreement
Last year, May, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft signed a European Union (EU) code of conduct to handle hate speech. The social media sites vowed to review hate speech reports, and remove all hate speech posts within 24 hours.
Nevertheless, an EU report released December last year indicated that only 40% of hate speech posts were addressed within 24 hours, although the figure varies in each country. The statistics are worse in Italy since only 4% of hate speech posts were being removed in 24 hours, according to the report.
Fake news fuel hate speech
Boldrini is an influential political figure in Italy, with only the President and the President of the Upper House above her. She believes that the so-called “fake news” spread on the site fuel hate speech. Such articles about her include stories saying that she advocates for Italian women to wear a veil.