Sarah Hegazy, a social activist was found dead in her apartment in Canada. After being charged with “promoting nymphomanism” she fled to Egypt. Egypt is a place where the discrimination of LGBT community is extensive. In order to protest this kind of offensive act, Facebook was sent a letter from the activist groups of the Middle east and North Africa.
Facebook was urged to do more to support the LGBT community and implement techniques to keep hate speech in control. This situation already went out of control when this Egyptian activist was jailed for waving the rainbow flag.(rainbow depicts the LGBT community).
The volume of hate speech Facebook witnessed was when an advertisement was boycotted by the US brands due to some conflicting content. Content full of hatred and violence was posted which lead to spread of hostility. Consequently after the murder of Sarah Hegazy, post shared by people became more offensive. Hate speech, speech of violence and death threats were in common. These kind of post were viral in Egypyt, Morocco and Tunisia with the attached video of a rainbow colour stick figure been kicked.
In one video a woman justified the death of Sarah and also depicted an animated picture of Sarah being burned. This made the LGBT community people dislike Facebook. They said that the platform is negligent in supporting their rights and doing nothing to stop HATE SPEECH. The platform is becoming unsafe for minorities.
In the US and Europe there is no room for spreading these kind of vulgarity and offensive language in the social media platforms. Same is asked for the Arabian countries. In response Facebook added that they are working on it and has employed teams to review the contents. they are reviewing the hate speech 24/7 in more than 50 languages.
Facebook said “we know we have more work to do here and we will continue to work closely with the community members. We will develop our tools, technology and policies to help the LGBT communities.”
The co-founder of ANKH association,Mr Nicolas Gilles called Hegazy’s death a wake up call moreover she faced online harrasement. The LGBT community in Arab is facing humiliation and Bullying. Everybody is saying that they could be the next Hegazy and we dont want that said Gilles.
The right to speech and freedom is for all. People who come from different walks of life should be given the basic rights, no matter what!