Today’s Home Office related news includes coverage of criticism by the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) of social media companies’ approach to hate speech and articles focusing on the Home Office's social media guidance for staff.
Social media companies and hate speech
There is widespread coverage of the HASC’s criticism of social media companies at the opening of the parliamentary inquiry into hate crime on social media. Most newspapers quote the Committee chairwoman Yvette Cooper accusing Google of allowing one of its executives to upload a video with “malicious and hateful” comments about Jewish people.
DCMS is leading on this story. The cross-Government statement on this is below:
A Government spokesperson said:
This Government is determined to do everything we can to stamp out hate crime, which has no place in society.
The UK has some of the strongest legislation on hate crime anywhere in the world, and we expect social media companies to respond quickly to incidents of abusive behavior on their networks.
Home Office social media guidance
The Times (p12), Telegraph (p2) and BBC News Online report a leaked email from the Home Office reveals civil servants have been told not to tweet criticism of Donald Trump.
While we do not comment on internal correspondence, the below statement sets out the Home Office's position on social media guidance for staff.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
Civil servants are all bound by the Civil Service Code which sets out the core values and the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants in and outside of the workplace. This includes the need for political impartiality and also applies to the use of social and other digital media.
We recently updated our guidance on the use of social media by staff to make it clearer and easier to understand. This is in line with the Cabinet Office’s guidance and the changes have been communicated to all staff.
Home Secretary's speech to RUSI on modern slavery
Home Secretary Amber Rudd will speak about modern slavery at the Royal United Service Institute at 2pm today.
She is giving the keynote speech at an event to discuss the role of financial institutions in disrupting human trafficking.
You can watch the event and her speech live.