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Question for Home Office

UIN 215619, tabled on 24 November 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussion she has had with social media companies about anti-Semitic comments on social media forums.

Answered on

3 December 2014

The Home Office, working through the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism which works to tackle all forms of hate crime, has engaged with leading social media companies, related industry representatives and community
groups to discuss the issues of the personal harm caused by offensive material on the internet. This has included work as part of the anti-cyber hate working group. As part of this collaborative process, the group has produced and
recently published ‘Responding to the Challenge of Cyberhate: Best Practices’.

This provides a useful tool to help internet service providers, social media companies and other internet industry organisations to challenge and counter online hatred, whilst recognising the importance of free speech. The government expects social media companies to have robust processes in place to promptly deal with a case when abuse is reported to them. This includes acting quickly to assess the report, removing content which does not comply with the acceptable use policies or terms and conditions that are in place, and where appropriate, suspending or terminating the accounts of those breaching the rules that are in place.

We have supported the development of True Vision, the police-led online reporting facility and information resource, which allows people to report internet hate material directly to the police.

The Government will continue to work with social media and the internet industries in the interests of the public, as we take online hatred very seriously. Online abuse is just as illegal as communications that are offline and anyone who has been a victim of internet abuse should not hesitate to contact the police.

Answered by

Home Office