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LONDON, UK – Up until now, most Zimbabweans would not have known that we have a fellow Zimbo high up the ladder at Facebook. Meet Fadzai Madzingira, the Content Policy Manager at Facebook. On Wednesday she did several interviews explaining Instagram’s new anti-racism measures.
Madzingira revealed that Facebook and Instagram will get tougher on accounts that spread racial messages because racism is a bigger problem than abusive messages seen on social media.
In an interview with Sky Sports News, Madzingira said they were announcing new changes to the policy as part of their commitment to end racism. She explained why it was difficult for Facebook to force people to produce their government ID’s before opening accounts.
“I totally understand the frustration that comes with [clamour for IDs]. I am Zimbabwean, I didn’t have an ID until I was around 18 or 19. There is a certain level of privilege that comes along with having an ID, and that is just in Zimbabwe. If you think about the UK or the US and access to ID, it is more often women of colour who do not have access to that type of government paperwork.
“It would suddenly create rules which stop these people being on the platform. We would disproportionately affect not just women of colour in large economies, but people of colour generally across the world.
“We have thought a lot about how we can keep the platform safe from inauthentic identification. So how do we protect someone from the LGBTQ+ community who does not want to be outed, or want to use their government name, but does authentically want to communicate with people from their community.
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“There are a number of black and ethnic minorities, most of them women, who in fact did not have access to ID and were not able to engage in voting. If that is at a national level, we can start to imagine what that would look like across the UK. The US has had significant debates around race and government identification.
“How do we stop those creating fake accounts purely for the purpose of breaking our rules? We have teams working on that and improving those areas.”
In another interview with the BBC she said she was horrified at the type of abuse people, “especially footballers, have to deal with on the basis of who they are, whether it’s their race or their religion or their gender” and “that sort of behavior that plays out offline (is) also playing out on our platforms.”
She said last year between July and September they took action against 6.5 million pieces of hate speech on Instagram, including within direct messages.
“To date, if someone violated the Instagram direct messages, we would set a specific ban or a block for a certain amount of time and extend that period, should they continue to violate.
“Today we are announcing that we will now be removing those accounts, should they continue to violate within Instagram direct messaging,” Madzingira explained.
Fadzai who holds the post of Content Policy Manager at Facebook is a Zimbabwean born London based woman with a Degree in Law. After completing her LLB she did a Masters in Public Policy which in a video on her YouTube channel, she calls ‘an escape from law.’
In 2012 she was the Secretary-General of the executive committee of the United Nations of South Africa Pretoria chapter which contributed to charity work for a local disadvantaged nursery. – Nehanda Radio