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Campaigners call on Facebook to stop anti-Roma group

facebookCampaigners from a group of charities and social enterprises across the north of England are demanding that Facebook takes action against an anti-Roma gypsy page on its platform.

The Big Life group says Facebook has been alerted to the content of a page called ‘Say No to Roma Gypsies’ which the group believes is in contravention of the platform’s rules and regulations.

Big Life chief executive Fay Selvan said: “The creators of the Facebook page have clearly targeted an ethnic group for discrimination and have chosen not to moderate violent, hateful and false comments directed at Roma people by other users.”

The group, which has been carrying out work with local schools, health services, Manchester University, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police, says Roma communities have faced persecution and violence for centuries, from the 8th Century conquests to the Nazi holocaust. Targeted discrimination and violence has continued and, as recently as 2008, mandatory fingerprinting within Roma communities in Italy was called a “direct act of racial discrimination” by the European Parliament.

In the last couple of months the group pinpoints false allegations of child trafficking directed at Roma parents and senior British politicians fuelling public anxiety about ‘Roma behaviour’ in Sheffield.

“This trend needs to stop,” said Ms Selvan, “Facebook should do more to minimise hate speech and incitements to violence on its website.”

She said Facebook has so far stated that the page is not in breach of their community standards.

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