The persistence of anti-Muslim hate on Facebook | Southern Poverty Law Center

The data mapping showing confluence between anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, white nationalist, neo-Confederate and anti-Government/Militia is of interest.

Have always wanted more data on social media networks and what they say about integration or not between different ethnic communities, not just the standard demographic analysis of communities and hopefully this analysis will stimulate such work. We need to look beyond the ‘physical enclave’ to include the virtual ones:

…Researcher and professor of computer science at Elon University, Megan Squire, is conducting a large-scale, ongoing study of hate groups on social media platforms, including Facebook.

“Preliminary results from my research indicate that – not surprisingly – groups with broadly ‘nativist’ ideologies, including anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant views, have significant membership in common,” Squire said.

“But this social network analysis also shows that anti-Muslim ideologies in particular can serve as a bridge between mostly disconnected communities, such as between anti-government and white nationalist communities.”

To construct the graph below, Squire first classified Facebook groups into ideologies using SPLC’s descriptions. She then selected the groups having more than 10 members in common and used social network analysis software to reveal the underlying “co-membership” network.

Each node represents one Facebook group. Lines between the groups indicate that the groups have at least ten members in common. Groups are positioned on the graph according to how similar their membership is. Groups that are closer to the center have more in common with one another. Green nodes, representing anti-Muslim groups, can be seen throughout.

Anti-Muslim hate seems to be the unifying cause hate groups can rally around and engage in on the social media platform. These findings are part of her ongoing research project to study far-right extremist beliefs through social media.

Is Facebook enabling anti-Muslim sentiment?

According to a 2017 Pew research study, 75 percent of Muslims polled believe there is a lot of discrimination in the United States against Muslims. Americans polled that same year by Pew rated Muslims on a “feeling thermometer” where 0 is the coldest and 100 is the warmest, the lowest among all religions at just 48. This disposition is well illustrated on Facebook, a platform in which Nazis and white nationalists are removed, while anti-Muslim groups remain.

Many publications have highlighted the double standards that exist in policing various demographics. Like other tech companies, Facebook largely responds when there is a controversy that is reported on by a publication. ProPublica points to complaints made by many users and the Anti-Defamation League about a page called “Jewish Ritual Murder,” which Facebook didn’t respond to until ProPublica wrote about Facebook’s inaction.

Monica Bickert, who leads the global policy management team at Facebook, explained, “The policies do not always lead to perfect outcomes. That is the reality of having policies that apply to a global community where people around the world are going to have very different ideas about what is OK to share.”…

via The persistence of anti-Muslim hate on Facebook | Southern Poverty Law Center

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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