Jun 10, 2019

'#IAmHere': The people trying to make Facebook a nicer place

Instead #IAmHere activists - there are tens of thousands of them in groups across Europe and around the world - say their mission is to change the overall tone of online debate, counteract hate storms and make Facebook a nicer place overall. Facebook has provided #IAmHere groups with free advertising credits and helps them organise meet-ups as part of its Online Civil Courage Initiative. After a while working mainly on her own, Dennert figured she could make more impact with a group behind her: "I reached out to get other people involved. A lot of them were like, 'This is fantastic, I've been feeling so alone with this.'". As word spread, similar groups began popping up in other countries including Italy, France, Slovakia, Poland and the UK. Today, there are 14 different #IAmHere groups working towards the same goals in their respective languages. The groups stick to fighting hate speech, which Facebook defines as a "Direct attack on people based on protected characteristics - race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability."

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