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Facebook launches UK initiative to counter online extremist material

Facebook Inc is launching a UK program to train and fund local organizations to combat extremist material online, as internet companies attempt to clamp down on hate speech and violent content on their services.

Facebook, which outlined new efforts to remove extremist and terrorism content from its social media platform last week, will launch the Online Civil Courage Initiative in the UK on Friday, the company said in a statement.

The new initiative will train non-governmental organizations to help them monitor and respond to extremist content and create a dedicated support desk so they can communicate directly with Facebook, the company said.

“There is no place for hate or violence on Facebook,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer. “We use technology like AI to find and remove terrorist propaganda, and we have teams of counterterrorism experts and reviewers around the world working to keep extremist content off our platform.”

The British government has stepped up attacks on Silicon Valley internet companies for not acting quickly enough to take down extremist online propaganda and fostering “safe places” where extremists can breed following a string of attacks in recent months in London and Manchester.

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Source: Reuters