Bombard ISIS with ‘likes’ says Facebook COO

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says ‘likes’ can help stop ISIS recruiters

Just days after donating $31 million of her Facebook stock to various charities, Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg is again in news for her latest advice to fight the dreaded ISIS. She says people should use “like attacks” to combat terror on the social network.

In response to a question about what Facebook could do to fight Islamic State recruiting and hate speech online, Ms Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, said that it was almost impossible to prevent incendiary posts on Facebook, admitting that “as soon as you take something down another one pops up”.

However, Sandberg advises Facebook users to fight hateful propaganda on Facebook by bombarding such posts with “tolerance and messages of hope”, and for activists to like pages with hate speech.

Sandberg gave very compelling evidence to believe the likes defeating hate speech idea. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, she said a group in Germany called “Laut gegen Nazis”, an anti-neo nazi group, had attacked the Facebook page of the far-right NDP by getting members to like and post on the page.

“They launched a ‘like attack’ on the Facebook page of the NPD,” she said.

“Rather than scream and protest, they got 100,000 people to like the page, who did not like the page and put messages of tolerance on the page, so when you got to the page, it changed the content and what was a page filled with hatred and intolerance was then tolerance and messages of hope.

“The best antidote to bad speech is good speech and the best antidote to hate is tolerance.”

Sandberg seems to be having the right ideas for fighting ISIS but Facebook has long been criticised for failing miserably to fight the ISIS propaganda on the social networking platform. But now it seems to be putting its act together even as it pledged to spend more than €1m (£770,000) to support non-governmental organisations in countering hate speech.

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