UN expert warns Facebook should take minority rights into account

A cell phone with a Facebook app has been unlocked. (Photo by Unsplash / Solen Feyissa)

Vernes de Vernes asserts that hate speech online is often directed against minorities and that such protests against these people “often cause serious damage in the real world and even lead to genocide and genocide.”

A UN human rights expert * asked Facebook on Wednesday to take into account the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, especially those linked to hate speech.

The United Nations special rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Vernes, hailed the recent news that the supervisory board of Facebook, the internal regulator of the social network that analyzes moderate results, has accepted six of its first appeals against content removal decisions. .

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the social network, compares the internal structure of his organization to what he considers “the Supreme Court of Facebook itself”.

“We know that hate speech online is generally directed against minorities and that these protests against minorities tend to cause serious damage in the real world and even lead to genocide and genocide,” Varens recalled. , He pointed out.

For this reason, he considered incitement to hatred on the Internet “one of the most important challenges for human life and life today”.

How should the rights of minorities be protected?

With regard to minority rights, Warrens stresses that the Supervisory Board must take into account article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1992 Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly. It belongs to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.

De Vernes said Facebook’s social norms should be compared to the concept of “hate speech” in a recent United Nations strategy and hate speech action plan.

He also said that failing to protect linguistic minorities from Facebook’s hate speech violates international human rights law.

Enjoy the creation of the board

Despite this situation, the Board of Supervisors described it as “an innovative and ambitious attempt to regulate online communications, in particular hate speech, which is essential for the effective protection of vulnerable minorities around the world”.

He welcomes the fact that the Council is composed of eminent experts in the field of human rights and freedom of expression and notes that efforts are being made to ensure impartiality by entrusting its management to an independent trust. .

The main focus of this year’s journalist is “hatred, the media and the expression of minorities. His main efforts are to organize regional forums in Europe and Asia on this issue and to chair the United Nations General Assembly on minority issues last November.

In 2020, de Vernos will focus on his theme “Expression of hatred, social networks and minorities”. He has organized regional forums in Europe and Asia and, in November 2020, chaired the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues.

In the three forums, more than 100 recommendations were made to fight online hatred against minorities.

“I look forward to working constructively with the supervisory board to assist them with their organizational development and minority issues,” said de Varens.

Switzerland / UN notifications (24.12.2020)

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