Report details Facebook's bizarre logic on hate speech

From Engadget - June 28, 2017

The social network has attempted to build a global ruleset of what does, and what does not, constitute hate speech. But the logic that it uses is likely to provoke outrage in users who feel that the company already fails to do enough to tackle radicalization.

On one hand, Facebook appears to believe that you cannot, or should not, criticize someone for the things that are out of their control. For instance, a slur made against someone's race, gender, sexuality and religious affiliation, amongst others, would be marked for deletion. But those factors that are less central to identity -- in Facebook's eyes -- are fair game for comment, such as a person's social class, job, appearance, age or religion.

If that's a little wooly, it may be easier to explain using a hypothetical situation in which the following statements were made:

According to ProPublica's report, the first two statements are considered fair comment because they only target a subsection of a group. Advocating the murder of the members of an entire race or religion would be protected, but a subset -- the radicalized muslims, the black children -- are not. The third statement, since it is targeting an entire race and gender, would be moderated off the platform.


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