Seven days after Women Action and the Media, the Everyday Sexism Project and activist Soraya Chemaly called on Facebook to remove content that condones hate speech and violence against women, Facebook responded that it will update its policies that add a new emphasis to taking domestic violence seriously.
The company promises to complete a review of its community standards on hate speech, update training for the staff that review harmful content, increase accountability for the creators of the content, and establish new partnerships with women’s rights groups. Additionally, Facebook will encourage international anti-defamation groups it works with to include women’s groups in their conversations.
Here is an excerpt of Facebook’s statement:
In recent days, it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate. In some cases, content is not being removed as quickly as we want. In other cases, content that should be removed has not been or has been evaluated using outdated criteria. We have been working over the past several months to improve our systems to respond to reports of violations, but the guidelines used by these systems have failed to capture all the content that violates our standards. We need to do better — and we will.
By Tuesday afternoon, 15 companies announced they had pulled their advertising and at least a dozen more were reviewing their advertising on the platform. While Facebook has already made commitments to actively review hate speech, domestic violence did not fall under the same criteria until today.