Report: Facebook sidelined hate speech study

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Facebook researchers last year gathered a study of the “worst” hate speech content on the company’s platform and made recommendations for how to reduce it. Washington Post report Published on Sunday.

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But Facebook officials, Fearing “the new system will tilt the scales by protecting some vulnerable groups over others” and concerned about “the potential for backlash from conservative partners,” the Post decided against implementing those recommendations.

description: Researchers asked thousands of Facebook users to rank a series of abusive posts in 2019, and respondents, even white conservatives, consistently found those aimed at minority groups as the most harmful.

  • Examples of “worst” postings include obscene sexist and racist comments aimed at progressive Democratic representatives known as “The Squad”.
  • Still, the report found, Facebook’s automated hate-speech detection algorithm leaned “aggressively” [detect] Comments defaming white people more than attacks on every other group,” according to the post.
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researchers recommended Reimagining the system to flag and remove hate speech targeted at black, Jewish, LGBTQ, Muslim and mixed-race people, as the survey found those posts “from worst to worst.”

yes but: Facebook leadership rejected the plan and stuck to the company’s “politically neutral” stance.

  • In a statement to the Post, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said the company had implemented parts of the report’s recommendations, but after a rigorous internal discussion about these tough questions, we did not implement all parts because Doing so would have actually resulted in less automatic removal of hate speech.”
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big picture: Facebook’s content moderation policies have been in the media spotlight after a set of documents from whistleblower Frances Haugen caused a number of harms to users.

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