The demonstration comes as figures out this month show a 52 per cent increase in disability hate crime online, mostly committed by repeat offenders.
80 activists and allies headed to Facebook’s HQ in London as part of CYA’s ‘Facebook Has No Standards’ campaign. The group says Facebook is failing to protect disabled people from abuse and discrimination. Comments including “he’d be better off dead” can be reported but are frequently left untouched by moderators.
The action comes two days after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told Parliament’s joint committee for the draft online safety bill that Facebook is “unquestionably making hate worse”, while the company reported that its quarterly profits have topped $9 billion.
CYA are called for Facebook to take down ableist comments and posts and stop allowing ableist slurs online; change Facebook policy to cover over reported posts and comments while they are being investigated; and for a member of CYA to be on Facebook’s Oversight Board
Taiwo Owatemi, MP for Coventry North West, said: “Tech giants can and must do more to protect the rights of their users to feel safe, both online and in their everyday lives, and their users’ free expression should not mean that they are free from consequences of their actions.”