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Home » AMAN lodges Racial Discrimination Complaint against Facebook

AMAN lodges Racial Discrimination Complaint against Facebook

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The Australian Muslim Advocacy Network (AMAN) has lodged a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission against Facebook for failing to moderate hate speech and dehumanising materials.

The complaint, lodged under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, appears to be the first time this law has been used to rein in discrimination by tech companies operating in Australia.

The complaint alleges direct and indirect discrimination by the platform (section 9) and liability for hate speech (section 18C) in Facebook’s hateful echo chambers.

In this claim, AMAN will represent Australian Muslims of Arab, Middle-Eastern, South Asian, Asian, African backgrounds, or immigrant status in Australia.

AMAN has been observing Facebook’s performance for more than a year and engaging in good faith discussions to propose policy changes.

“Our concern is that Facebook only takes action when the community does the heavy-lifting in documenting the violations and is prepared to escalate through media,” says AMAN Advisor Rita Jabri-Markwell.

“This approach isn’t sustainable and places an unreasonable burden.”

The complaint alleges that Facebook allows pages that superficially position themselves as ‘anti-Islam’ even when it is clear they routinely and dangerously dehumanise Middle Eastern, African, South Asian and Asian people.

It contends that Facebook has not taken steps to recognise hateful narratives drawn from violent extremist movements that portray Muslims and immigrants as an existential threat.

“Our community has experienced many attacks on mosques, as well on individuals and families going about their lives.”

“But it’s not only Muslims who are affected. Research has clearly shown anti-Muslim populist movements online have been the predominant force behind the growth in Right-Wing Extremism.”

“Australian communities have paid the price too long. We have no choice but to escalate this.”

Other communities affected by Facebook are encouraged to get in touch with AMAN.