Deputy PM discussing racism & discrimination with Facebook, Twitter

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Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs is organization an expert meeting in October to find ways to counter discrimination on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The Minister announced this during a debate on discrimination in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, on Wednesday, NU reports. The PvdA and SP stated that the government should fight online discrimination more actively.

According to SP parliamentarian Sadet Karabulut, the incidence of racist "muckraking" on social media has increased dramatically over the past few years and something should be done about it. PVdA parliamentarian Ahmed Marchouch demanded from the Minister that the cabinet take the offensive against racism and discrimination with a national action plan on how to combat it.

Asscher wants to invite Facebook and Twitter to the expert meeting to discuss forms of how racism and discrimination can be actively fought. He stressed that this is not intended to curtail freedom of expression on social media "Criticism of Islam or integration should not be confused with discrimination. The limits of freedom of expression is set down in the law."

The VVD responded negatively to the PvdA's proposal of an action plan. "All these action plans create an atmosphere that society can be changed with a magic wand. It is a false solution", Tamara van Ark said. "The Tweede Kamer often thinks that its duty is done with an action plan, but something like this has to come from society." She added that the prohibition on discrimination is in Article 1 of the Constitution "for good reason". "It allows people to report it if they are discriminated against on Twitter or Facebook. In addition, you can see that people also take action on social media when thighs are said that can not be tolerated."

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