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Facebook will offer advertising credits to activists who counteract extremist messaging

The company’s Online Civil Courage Initiative, originally launched in January, will expand from a pilot program in Germany, France, and the U.K. to both companies and activist groups that combat hate speech—specifically extremist messaging—online, reports the Wall Street Journal. The OCCI program will give up to €1 million ($1.12 million) worth of advertising credits and marketing advice over two years to groups that combat extremist messages and far-right hate speech.

Facebook says it has found that outright censorship of such extremist speech “is not effective,” but that it has seen that counter-messaging that seeks to discredit hate speech and extremist propaganda can be. When the OCCI was in its pilot phase, Facebook had already given $11,152 in advertising credits to companies who helped counteract extremist messaging to more than 2 million people.

Facebook is just hte latest major tech company to get involved in counterterrorism efforts. Between February and August, Twitter suspended 235,00 extremist accounts on its social platform and struck up partnerships with anti-extremist non-government organizations. More recently Google’s Jigsaw has been experimenting with using Google Search ads and YouTube to divert the curious from developing a deeper interest in ISIS. 

[Screenshot: Facebook]MG