Recently, The Guardian revealed the algorithm which Facebook uses when deciding who and what to block on its site.
The algorithm is dissected in the informative video and includes but is not limited to:
- Allowing photos, but not videos, of animal abuse
- Un-vetted live streaming of crimes
- Removal of the historically important “Napalm Girl” picture which solidified Western attitudes against the Vietnam war, yet no censorship of pornographic cartoon images of anime characters
- Selective and sub-par blocking of hate pages such as “Ban Islam” and “The Truth About The Talmud”
Of course, the mere suggestion of censorship leads to a fierce debate about free speech. Some people don’t believe that opinions should be censored, no matter how bad they are.
But that’s the thing about freedom of speech: you can say whatever you want.
Freedom of speech doesn’t come with freedom of consequence.
In the U.K., if you are considered to be inciting racial hatred, you will be held accountable.
Sadly, Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t believe this. Thousands of racist and xenophobic comments and groups remain online and accessible, while black activists are blocked for criticizing their oppressors to the extent that it is often recommended by leftist groups that you do not type the word “white” when talking about white people or you may risk being blocked from posting.
Furthermore, videos and images of racial hate crimes performed by police officers against black Americans are regularly allowed to remain on Facebook. This content can be extremely triggering for thousands, if not millions, of people within the black community – completely disregarding the mental health of a group whose mental health is already too often over-looked.
It is disappointing that Facebook allows this triggering content to remain on its site while doing worse than nothing about the pages which remain on its site which add to the racial climate and actively bans some of those who speak out against white supremacy.
Occasionally, a group will organize a mass-reporting of a hate page. Usually, though, this goes nowhere as Facebook’s guidelines seem to have a loophole allowing hateful pages such as “Sounds Like Jewish B******t But Okay” to remain up, despite clear anti-semitic rhetoric. As the age of the alt-right dawns, no Neo-Nazi sentiment should be allowed to grow or be nurtured by its “Accordance with Community Standards”.
Mark, it is not enough to stand by and let hate slip through the algorithm of your site. While hate crimes in the U.K. and U.S. are on the rise since the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump, Facebook cannot be assumed to live in a bubble free from society. Frustrated, racist white people have a huge platform on your site and will continue to unless action is made to take down hateful pages and start giving a reliable platform for activists to publicly speak out against the actions of their oppressors.