Charities join forces to speak out about social media abuse

Social media abuse

A group of 38 organisations has come together to call on social media firms to do more to support organisations and the people they help

6th July 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Charities have come together to speak out about abuse on social media.

Led by Health in Mind, a coalition of more than 30 charities is speaking out about the daily abuse they and the people they help receive on social media platforms.

The organisations are looking to highlight that hate speech on the main sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, affects everyone who uses the platforms and that more has to be done to support users.

Organisations who have joined the working group – which aims to review what’s happening, how it impacts their ability to support beneficiaries and bring recommendations of change to the social media firms – include Parkinson’s UK, Help for Heroes and Versus Arthritis.

A statement released by Health in Mind said: “As charities, we recognise that these platforms have a role to play in allowing us to connect with supporters and beneficiaries from all backgrounds. But we also know that not enough is being done to stop posts which incite hate and violence being made visible. No one should have to see these messages in their day to day lives, and especially not when trying to access ongoing information and support.

“We believe that it’s time for social media platforms to be better, and do better by the people who use them. It’s time for them to take action to make their platforms more inclusive, a place for connecting and debate, not hate.

“Hate, whether it’s based on race, gender, sexuality, disability, religious beliefs or any other characteristic, is not acceptable in society. And we all have a part to play in stopping its spread. We believe it’s important that Facebook and other social media owners hear this message loud and clear from as many people, and sectors, as possible.”

And the statement adds that the organisations will review the money they are spending on social media advertising.

It said: “Together, we will take stock of what’s happening, scaling back our social media spend where we can, without it impacting our ability to deliver vital services. We’ll review ethical marketing policies, and see how these align with those of our partners. And where there is difference, we’ll be taking combined recommendations to the social media platforms to show them how they can do better for those we support.”

Facebook has been hit with businesses pulling advertising from the site in recent months over claims over hate speech being allowed on the platform. Starbucks and Levis are amongst those who have paused campaigns.

And last week, TFN reported that members of staff from the TIE Campaign had been left in fear after being subjected to personal and vitriolic attacks on social media.