A new report from ProPublica based on internal Facebook documents describes internal guidelines for moderating comments and content on the social media platform. Facebook’s complicated guidelines, ProPublica writes, mean that “the company’s hate-speech rules tend to favor elites and governments over grassroots activists and racial minorities.”
Facebook’s convoluted rules slice blocks of people into “protected categories” such as “white men,” and “subsets” of people, such as “black children.” Race, gender, and religious affiliation are among the protected categories, but things like age, occupation, and social class are not. Therefore, statements that, for example, called for violence against white men would be removed while those against black children would not, since only one of the words in that designation — black — is considered protected.
In practice, of course, this all gets pretty fucked up pretty fast, leading to rules such as this: “Only dehumanizing characteristics are disallowed for migrants — lazy and filthy are ok.”