Facebook is reportedly planning to censor posts that may contain misinformation or “hate speech” related to the trial of Derek Chauvin as a verdict is expected in the near future. Facebook claims: “We want to strike the right balance between allowing people to speak about the trial and what the verdict means, while still doing our part to protect everyone’s safety.”
The New York Times reports that Facebook stated on Monday that it plans to limit posts that contain misinformation and “hate speech” related to the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd, ahead of the trial’s verdict.
Facebook stated that it would identify and remove posts that urge people to bring arms to the city and will also be protecting members of Floyd’s family from harassment and removing content that praised, celebrated, or mocked his death.
Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of content policy, stated in a blog post: “We know this trial has been painful for many people. We want to strike the right balance between allowing people to speak about the trial and what the verdict means, while still doing our part to protect everyone’s safety.”
Facebook has repeatedly claimed to be a platform for free speech but has become increasingly quick to police and censor content that it claims could lead to real-world violence. Facebook has been under fire from many for some time over its handling of sensitive news events.
The company received criticism over its handling of last year’s presidential election with many believing the site was used as a platform to spread misinformation relating to voter fraud. Ahead of the election, Facebook took steps to fight what it labels as misinformation and displayed warnings on more than 150 million posts that it believed may contain misinformation.
Facebook stated on Monday that it has determined that Minneapolis is, at least temporarily, a “high-risk location,” and that it would remove pages, groups, events, and Instagram accounts found to have violated its violence and incitement policy.
Bickert stated in the blog post: “As the trial comes to a close, we will continue doing our part to help people safely connect and share what they are experiencing.”
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