Social media can help beat IS: Facebook COO

sandberg_2387533bDAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) — “Counter-speech” is the best answer to combating terrorist organizations like the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg said here in a panel at the World Economic Forum (WEF).

“The best thing to speak against recruitment by ISIS are the voices of people who were recruited by ISIS, understand what the true experience is, have escaped, and have come back to tell the truth,” she said.

“Counter-speech to the speech that is perpetuating hate we think by far is the best answer,” she added.

Rather than only focusing on silencing the voices of hate and intolerance, Sandberg laid out her way to combat the terrorist organization on the Internet: drown them out with messages of hope, a phenomenon she called “like attacks.”

Sandberg gave an example of how German Facebook users did this: they targeted a neo-Nazi Facebook page and flooded it with messages of love and tolerance.

“What was a page filled with hatred and intolerance was then tolerance and messages of hope,” she added.

Sandberg’s comments came amid an increasing pressure on Facebook and other social media sites to help fight extremist speech online.

Its open nature makes social media a powerful tool for terrorist organizations, ISIS in particular, to spread hateful rhetoric and find new recruits.


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