Conservatives have good reason to be worried about Facebook. Newly published information about the site’s Community Standards, which guide what content is allowed and what is prohibited, shows it has vague restrictions on what it deems to be “hate speech” and “hate organizations.” It also discusses how the site will handle “false news” and raises concerns about the groups that it partners with.
But the hate speech guidelines are the big issue. Facebook has designated “protected characteristics” including: “race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disability or disease.” It also includes “some protections for immigration status.”
Facebook broke its hate speech section into three “tiers,” but they add up to a long list of potential problems for conservatives. Organizations and individuals that violate these massive guidelines run the risk of being categorized as hate organization. Millions or even billions of people around the globe would be at risk to be banned from Facebook for a long list of potential violations.
Here are five possible problems:
- Sexual Orientation, Gender and Gender Identity: Conservative groups that argue there are only two genders could easily violate one of the hate speech guidelines as sexual orientation, sex, gender and gender identity are all included as protected groups. The violation could be as simple as: “I think there are only two genders” when communicating with a poster who claims to be in a non-traditional gender. Facebook already allows users to define their own genders.
- Gay Marriage: “Expressions of contempt” including “I don't like" or “I hate” gay marriage could put social conservatives at risk. It violates the rules to criticize “protected groups.” Numerous conservative organizations are opposed to gay marriage.
- Sex: Posters can’t criticize anyone for promiscuity. That would violate rules against criticizing people for “moral deficiency.” So even criticism of former NBA star Wilt Chamberlain for reportedly having sex with 20,000 women would be a violation.
- Illegal Immigration: Illegal immigrants are given partial protection. But it violates rules to “to exclude or segregate a person or group.” So a conservative organization calling for illegal immigrants to be returned to their nation of origin would also be a likely violation. Even presidential candidates like Newt Gingrich proposed that illegal immigrants return before they would be allowed a path to citizenship.
- More on Illegal Immigrants: New immigrants haven’t paid taxes. But posters are forbidden from calling them out as “free riders.” That’s also hate speech.