Internal Audio Reveals Details of Facebook’s Hate Speech Policy

Facebook is a huge social media entity, one that connects billions of people at this point. It’s fair to say that there has never been a centralized forum where so many people voiced their thoughts and opinions, and when you have conversations being had and ideas being discussed on such a large scale there are definitely going to be some contention between certain groups as well as the voicing of certain ideas that are just not going to be in line with the morals of society.

This is why Facebook has a hate speech policy, one that is essentially meant to make the platform a safer place for everyone. Hate speech can be quite dangerous since it can contribute to rhetoric that facilitates real world violence and disenfranchisement against people that are already being oppressed out in the world. However, a lot of people found their posts being deleted and their accounts being suspended for seemingly harmless statements like “men are trash”, statements that are often if not mostly stated in a jocular fashion and are certainly not equal to statements made against women which are statistically proven to be linked to real world violence against that gender.

Leaked audio from a meeting that Mark Zuckerberg had with his staff reveals his thought process behind this sort of thing. According to Zuckerberg, hate speech is the same, no matter what group is being targeted. An example that he gives is that if the phrase was “Muslims are trash” this would be considered hate speech, so by that logic “men are trash” should be considered hate speech as well.

Some are lauding this as a good example of equality since hate speech in any form should be unacceptable, while certain people are criticizing this policy saying that it equates harmless sentiments against privileged groups with genuinely hateful rhetoric against marginalized communities.



Photo: AP

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