abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

14 Jul 2020

Rights groups urge Facebook to stop LGBT+ hate speech in Arab countries following the death of Egyptian activist Sarah Hegazy

LGBTQ+ activists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have asked Facebook to take further action against posts that called for gay people to be killed. Campaigners from Egypt, Morocco, Russia, Sudan, Syria and Tunisia have now signed an open letter to Facebook, calling out the social media platform. Part of the letter read: “The MENA LGBTQI+ community has been reporting thousands of Arabic hate speech posts targeting women in general, and people of different sexual orientations in particular.

The demands came after the suicide of Egyptian transactivist Sarah  Hegazy in Canada where she fled after being charged with “promoting sexual deviancy” in Egypt, where discrimination against the LGBT+ community is rife.

In response, Facebook said it had teams reviewing reports of hate speech 24/7 in more than 50 languages, including Arabic, and that its AI tools found nearly 90% of the hate speech it removes before users reported it.