Tech giant Facebook has reportedly launched a major overhaul of its hate speech policing algorithms, which will include reengineering the automated moderation systems to detect and remove hateful languages that it considers the “worst of the worst.” Internal documents reportedly show that Facebook will prioritize detecting and removing hateful comments directed at black people, Muslims, the LGBT community, and Jews. The company will also “deprioritize” hateful comments made towards white people, Americans, and men.
The Washington Post reports that Facebook has begun a major overhaul of its algorithms that police hate speech across its platforms. One main change that will reportedly take place is a reengineering of Facebook’s automated moderation system to better detect and remove hateful language that the company determines to the the “worst of the worst.”
Facebook has banned “hate speech” on its platform for some time now but the new update will reportedly shift the company away from treating all hate speech the same. As part of the new algorithm update, Facebook systems will prioritize detecting and removing hateful comments directed at black people, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and Jews, internal Facebook documents show.
According to the internal Facebook documents reported by the Post, Facebook will also be deprioritizing some hateful comments made against white people, Americans, and men. Facebook has confirmed that it has made updates to its proactive detection systems to catch hate speech that experts believe is the most serious.
Facebook whistleblower Ryan Hartwig shared screenshots on social media demonstrating that he has “many examples” of the platform taking a soft stance against “hate speech” against whites, such as “you are white trash” not being considered a violation of its rules.
I knew this was happening a year ago, and have many examples of evidence that show Facebook proactively targeting caucasians and whites. (see attached photos)
— Ryan Hartwig (@realryanhartwig) December 7, 2020
A Facebook spokesperson commented: “We know that hate speech targeted towards underrepresented groups can be the most harmful, which is why we have focused our technology on finding the hate speech that users and experts tell us is the most serious. Over the past year, we’ve also updated our policies to catch more implicit hate speech, such as content depicting Blackface, stereotypes about Jewish people controlling the world, and banned holocaust denial.”
Facebook stated that the project is focused on its proactive tools, hate speech reported by users — including speech that discriminated against white people, Americans, and men — will still be removed.
Breitbart News reported last week that Facebook plans to remove false claims about coronavirus vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts. In October, Google-owned YouTube made a similar promise. The decision expands Facebook’s current rules relating to falsehoods and conspiracy theories related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Facebook states that it takes down any misinformation that poses a risk of “imminent” harm, and labels and reduces other false claims that fail to reach that threshold. In a blog post, Facebook stated that the global policy change came in response to recent news that coronavirus vaccines would begin rolling out worldwide beginning soon.
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Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org