Survey: Facebook, Twitter & Co. are doing too little against digital violence

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Over 85 percent of 2000 adults questioned in all 27 EU member states criticize the inadequate protection against violence in social media. According to a survey by the consulting company HateAid, around a third are themselves affected by hatred on the Internet; among young adults between 18 and 35 years of age, the proportion is around 50 percent. 91 percent of young adults have seen hatred and agitation on the Internet several times.

“However, the hatred on the net is pushing women out of social media in particular,” writes HateAid. 52 percent of the women surveyed stated that they were afraid of hating and expressing their opinion on the Internet less often. 35 percent of the male respondents said this. In an alliance of 17 European organizations, HateAid is now calling on the EU to take immediate action to protect against digital violence with an international petition.

92 percent of those surveyed are in favor of Facebook, Google and Twitter removing reported illegal content more efficiently. 80 percent of those questioned would like to have a say in the criteria according to which contributions are displayed to them. 84 percent of men and 92 percent of women think that laws are unavoidable or at least desirable to control online platforms.

HateAid believes that with the Digital Service Act (DSA), which is currently being negotiated, “EU politicians now have the historic opportunity to enshrine clear rules in order to stop digital violence. So far, they have not done this, so users * social media continue to be systematically unprotected. ” The organization calls for sign a petition to the EU. For example, it calls for precautions against the dissemination of stolen nude photos. There must also be more rigorous action against hate speech and attacks against the LGBTQI + community and administrative threats. In the survey, 30 percent of women said they feared nude or intimate photos could be shared without their consent.

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HateAid, along with other organizations, believes that the platforms’ recommendation algorithms reinforce hate speech and scandalous content, making them money from abuse. The procedure against illegal content should become legally easier, and those affected should also be able to contact them more easily and effectively.

The EU Parliament’s Internal Market Committee originally wanted to vote on the DSA on November 8th. He postponed this because the Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen should be questioned beforehand. The former Facebook employee had downloaded a large collection of internal documents and made them available to the US Congress, authorities and selected media. According to her, the information shows that the group puts profits above the well-being of its users.


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