Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has recently been trying to strike a balance between cracking down on fake news, hoaxes, and hate speech and allowing a diversity of opinions on the site. In a recent interview with Recode, Zuckerberg took one of his strongest approaches in defense of free speech on the platform.
Social media platforms must work with both sides of the political spectrums if they wish to maintain neutrality. That was the message to top social media companies from a top Republican.
Facebook revealed there was a 56 percent increase in the number of posts removed for violating the site’s “hate speech” rule. Facebook’s Community standards Enforcement Preliminary Report showed that between October and December 2017, it “took action” against 1.6 million pieces of content for violating the site’s Community Standards rule against hate speech.
While Facebook spends so much time trying to “curb hate speech” and ensure neutrality, it seems to have missed one thing: ISIS terrorists using the platform for their own devices. According to CBS and The Telegraph, Facebook “inadvertently help[ed] Islamist extremists connect and recruit new members.”
Facebook is apparently testing out a new feature that appeared to allow posters to report content as hate speech.
On Tuesday afternoon, Facebook users saw an option to report every post in their feeds for “hate speech,” regardless of the context. Posts about food, cats, and even news links all had the option to report them for containing hate speech.
Facebook will be bringing in an adviser to address concerns about anti-conservative bias on the platform.
Axios reported on Wednesday that Facebook will be bringing in an advisory team led by former Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl to tackle the issue of bias against conservatives. Kyl’s law firm, Covington and Burling, will allegedly be discussing the issue with conservative groups “directly” in order to “advise Facebook” going forward.
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.”