New York: Isis can be run off Facebook if nice people like their pages, Facebook bosses have said. Users should launch a digital war against Isis, Sheryl Sandberg has said, which could include taking to extremists’ pages and writing kind messages.
Ms Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, pointed to the example of a German neo-Nazi page. Activists headed to that page and flooded it with likes once they had become members, they posted positive messages and overran the page.
“What was a page filled with hatred and intolerance was then tolerance and messages of hope,” Ms Sandberg said, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “The best antidote to bad speech is good speech and the best antidote to hate is tolerance.”
Doing the same with pages for Isis supporters and recruiters could have a similarly discouraging effect, she said. “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.”
Facebook launched a 1 million campaign to stop hate speech and extremism this week, with a particular focus on Germany. The site is just one of a range of the biggest Silicon Valley companies that are looking to take on Isis and other terrorist groups. Google has also indicated that it might look to shut extremists out of the internet, forcing their pages to become undiscoverable and stopping them from being able to recruit.