Facebook must stamp out hate on its platform, the Home Affairs Committee has said following the uncovering of death threats against MPs in closed and secret Facebook groups.
In a letter written to Facebook on behalf of the Home Affairs Committee, chair Yvette Cooper has urged Facebook to examine how comments are dealt with in closed groups, which she said often are forums for “hate and dangerous, offensive and illegal content”.
Listing examples of hate content they had found, Cooper said that the Committee had uncovered a secret Facebook group which is rife with threats to MPs. She said that comments posted in the group included:
“Kill them all.. every ******* one […] I dont [sic] care As long as they are Eradicated”
“Just shoot them, criminals”
“Chuck those remoaners over the bridge, bunch of muppets”
The group has over 30,000 members.
Cooper’s letter comes after she wrote to Facebook in May to ask how it ensures closed and secret groups on the platform are not used to encourage hate. But the Committee has said that they were dissatisfied with the response.
Facebook said closed groups are still subject to the rules of the platform, to which Cooper responded: “Either this is not true or Facebook’s systems are allowing death threats to be made against Members of Parliament.”
Last month, we also revealed that Facebook has allowed UK far-right groups to pay for adverts that spread racism and hate. Despite this, Mark Zuckerberg has so far refused to answer questions from MPs about the hate disseminated on his platform.