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Facebook to Remove Thousands of 'Hate Speech' Posts

Image: Facebook to Remove Thousands of 'Hate Speech' Posts
(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jun 2017 04:10 PM

Facebook is hiring thousands of employees to combat the "hate speech" on its site, saying they currently delete 66,000 posts reported as hate speech each week.

"Our current definition of hate speech is anything that directly attacks people based on what are known as their 'protected characteristics' — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, or serious disability or disease," Richard Allen, Facebook vice president of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

Facebook will increase its community operations team, which responds to content reports, by 3,000 employees for a total of 7,500.

"There is no universally accepted answer for when something crosses the line. Although a number of countries have laws against hate speech, their definitions of it vary significantly."

Allen also addresses the difficulty in determining what constitutes "hate speech," especially since Facebook has users across the globe.

"In Germany, for example, laws forbid incitement to hatred; you could find yourself the subject of a police raid if you post such content online. In the U.S., on the other hand, even the most vile kinds of speech are legally protected under the U.S. Constitution.

"What does the statement 'burn flags not fags' mean? While this is clearly a provocative statement on its face, should it be considered hate speech? For example, is it an attack on gay people, or an attempt to 'reclaim' the slur? Is it an incitement of political protest through flag burning? Or, if the speaker or audience is British, is it an effort to discourage people from smoking cigarettes (fag being a common British term for cigarette)? To know whether it's a hate speech violation, more context is needed."

Allen adds some information about Facebook's current response to hate speech, saying "Over the last two months, on average, we deleted around 66,000 posts reported as hate speech per week — that's around 288,000 posts a month globally."

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Facebook is hiring thousands of employees to combat the "hate speech" on its site, saying they currently delete 66,000 posts reported as hate speech each week.
facebook, remove, thousands, hate speech, posts
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2017-10-27
Tuesday, 27 Jun 2017 04:10 PM
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