IT MIGHT GET WORSE DURING THE ELECTION YEAR
The Facebook auditor has just finished her second audit of Facebook’s policies to ban hate speech, specifically terms that refer to white nationalism or white supremacy.
Laura Murphy, former director at the ACLU, is not satisfied with the progress. She also wants Facebook to ban concepts that refer to ideas about white nationalism. In other words, code language, or code concepts that would be determined “bad” by a panel of experts at Facebook.
That could include things like “Make America Great Again,” or “MAGA,” if the social media platform wants to conform to the Leftist narrative that Donald Trump is racist.
In March, Facebook banned the words “white supremacy,” “white separatism,” and “white nationalism.”
That’s why you don’t see the word in the headline of this article. The article would be banned from Facebook.
“Over the past three months our conversations with members of civil society and academics who are experts in race relations around the world have confirmed that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups. Our own review of hate figures and organizations – as defined by our Dangerous Individuals & Organizations policy – further revealed the overlap between white nationalism and separatism and white supremacy. Going forward, while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and separatism,” Facebook wrote in March.
Murphy says Facebook’s policy is “too narrow,” as it only prohibits representation of the specific terms, but doesn’t technically ban ideas or other signaling.
“The narrow scope of the policy leaves up content that expressly espouses white nationalist ideology without using the term ‘white nationalist,’” Murphy’s report states. “As a result, content that would cause the same harm is permitted to remain on the platform.”
Murphy is also raising a flag about language relating to the 2020 Census, and she’s warning that there may be Facebook posts intended to spread misinformation about the census or efforts to minimize participation by ethnic groups, religious groups, or LGBTQ individuals.
Facebook users who are conservatives are rightfully concerned that even using words like “patriot,” or “illegal immigrants” (rather than the politically correct term “undocumented individuals”) could cause them to be throttled (hidden) by the company’s mysterious algorithm.
Facebook can be credited for attempting some outward-facing transparency in its struggle to keep its social media platform wholesome. But it will be a test for the Godzilla of social media to go deeper into word and idea policing, and keeping one step ahead of the code language and civil libertarian pranksters who will no doubt find new ways to thwart Facebook’s censorship of conservatives.
(Editor’s note: In addition to Facebook, Must Read Alaska has a social media presence on mewe.com and invites readers to join us there as a parallel social media news feed. Must Read Alaska does not support hate speech or racist supremacy and monitors comments on social media as best we can for what we view as respectful and civil discourse. So yes, full disclosure — Must Read Alaska also limits hateful speech.)