A few days after leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called on the US to close its borders to all Muslims entering the country, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to fight to protect Muslim rights on the social network.
Trump’s policy proposal, along with the recent terror attacks in San Bernadino and Paris, have led to an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments, especially on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. "As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities," Zuckerberg writes. "Even if an attack isn't against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone."
In the post, Zuckerberg promised Muslims that Facebook “will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you.” He added that having a child has given him and his wife, Priscilla Chan, a new perspective on life. “Having a child has given us so much hope, but the hate of some can make it easy to succumb to cynicism. We must not lose hope. As long as we stand together and see the good in each other, we can build a better world for all people.”
Zuckerberg’s post gained 249,781 ‘likes’ within the first hour of being posted, along with 29,163 shares and 13,835 comments. While the vast majority of Facebook users praised the CEO’s stance, there were those who said the site doesn’t do enough to curtail anti-Muslim hate speech. "I've reported multiple posts for racism against Muslims and Facebook have deemed them to be free speech and left them,” said one user.
Another big tech name, Eric Schmidt, also called for a crackdown on internet harassment. In an op-ed for the New York Times, the executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. said: “We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media—sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment.”