“Report hate speech” Facebook urges Sub-Saharan Africans users

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

Many people including Zimbabwe shy away from Facebook owing to tons of hate speech on the platform but a top official of the social media platform has urged  users   people   to report   such abuse .

This was heard at a   ‘policy   round-table meeting’ organised by Facebook in collaboration with Misa-Zimbabwe on   Friday .

According to Dublin based Facebook Public Policy Associate Manager, Content Policy, Ms Fadzai  Madzingira very few Sub-Saharan Africans were reporting cases of hate speech  on Facebook despite that the platform has a reporting mechanism,which many users are not aware of.

“It has come to our attention that most people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not report   hate speech compared to other regions despite that the platform accommodates a report mechanism,” she said.

However, Chido Musodza,  a digital expert  with Digital Society of Zimbabwe,argued that this could be attributed to   users being unaware of the  reporting mechanism and the language factor.

“I think why most people fail to report is because they are not even aware of the report button so there is the need to for the Facebook team to re-look on the platform’s design.

“Language is also another challenge that users face as they are more conversant in their own languages,” argued the digital enthusiast.

Another hurdle Facebook is seized with is how to deal with nudity at a time most Zimbabweans have been agitating for musician Vimbai Zimuto to be censured because of   her penchant to post nude pictures on her page.

“Nudity has been one of our hardest challenge to deal with as it is sometimes bordered on culture for example in Kenya there are some tribes which don’t see anything wrong with images of  women with  bare nipples while some would see it otherwise,”Madzingira.

Facebook SADC public policy manager  Emilar Vushe Gandhi (pictured) reiterated the need for users to   explore collaborations which they can do with the platform.

“As Facebook users feel free to engage with us on collaborations that we can explore,” said Gandhi.

In Zimbabwe, Facebook is the second mostly subscribed platform after WhatsApp but the proliferation of fake news, hate speech and nudity have  been  major concerns.