Facebook launches the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI) to combat online extremism

Courtney Goldsmith
Follow Courtney
Facebook's Chief Operating Office Sheryl Sandberg Makes Announcement With Mayor Bloomberg
Sheryl Sandberg will announce the new programme today (Source: Getty)

Facebook is taking action today to tackle online extremism and hate speech with a new programme, the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI).

In partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Facebook has created the OCCI to commit financial and marketing support as well as training to UK non-government organisations working to counter online extremism.

"There is no place for hate or violence on Facebook. We use technology like AI to find and remove terrorist propaganda, and we have teams of counterterrorism experts and reviewers around the world working to keep extremist content off our platform. Partnerships with others — including tech companies, civil society, researchers and governments — are also a crucial piece of the puzzle," said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer.

Read more: Boris Johnson and Amber Rudd attack Google over extremist content

The OCCI is a counterspeech programme, which means it encourages people to speak out against violence and extremism.

"We know we have more to do – but through our platform, our partners and our community we will continue to learn to keep violence and extremism off Facebook.”

Sasha Havlicek, chief executive officer of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue said:

"This is a critical time to amplify credible British voices against extremism and hatred. The OCCI provides a unique machine that mobilises innovative technology together with expert knowledge from across the marketing, communications, and academic sectors to upscale the civic response to this challenge. Together, we can build a proportional and effective response to the increasingly sophisticated online strategies of the extremists."

Read more: Tech giants respond as PM accuses them of being "safe space" for terrorism

Related articles