We can't tell you the words Facebook is banning - or we'll get banned - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, September 25, 2021
HomeThe SocialWe can’t tell you the words Facebook is banning — or we’ll get banned

We can’t tell you the words Facebook is banning — or we’ll get banned

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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.

[Read the June 30, 2019 Facebook audit here]

(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.)

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Let me make lots of readers dislike me more than they already do 🙂
    While I think Facebook is pandering to the liberals and barring anyone on social media flies in the face of the First Amendment, I strongly dislike the fed government intervention and trying to pass legislation of what social media companies can/can’t do. Facebook (and Twitter, Google, etc) are still private companies. In my opinion, a private company should be able to ban/hide/not serve anyone they disagree with, without the government coming down, whether it be the local, state, or federal. I supported the Colorado baker’s First Amendment religious beliefs against baking a specific cake (even though I’m not religious at all), I support Facebook’s decision ONLY because they’re a private company and should be able to do whatever they want to do.
    Maybe a savvy entrepreneur could create their own version of Facebook that is specifically for conservatives, patriots, and other liberty lovers!

    • S. Evans, I agree with your sentiments…..with one caveat. Facebook and the other social media platforms have a shield against lawsuits that was provided to them by the US Congress. It’s called Bill 230 or something like that. This law protects them against lawsuits for anything anyone posts on their platforms. They are considered a platform and not a publisher.

      Now, when they start to regulate speech and act like editors, in my view, they are in breach of that rule and they should lose their protection.

      • Mark R., Should Facebook (FB) lose their protection? Yes, with my one caveat. Would it make it easier for them to fend off competition from smaller sites? According to a cosponsor of the Section 230 bill, Sen. Ron Wyden, has recently said in an interview that ditching Section 230 would allow giants like FB to restrict competition.
        When I posted about the feds passing legislation about what FB can/can’t do, I was thinking about Sen. Josh Hawley’s proposed bill. He wants to change Section 230, creating a “nonpartisan” panel of political appointees to determine what’s considered neutral speech (and thus acceptable), and making all online sites and publishers get recertification every 2 years. In my opinion, his bill is terrifying, especially for conservatives.
        Yes, FB and most social platforms and publishers are biased against conservatives, but our elected politicians shouldn’t necessarily do anything about it because it may inadvertently make free speech worse in the long term. The feds shouldn’t be in charge of what’s posted or published online. That’s what I was indirectly trying to get to.
        Here’s the info I got it from: https://reason.com/2019/06/25/sen-ron-wyden-conservatives-are-totally-wrong-about-political-neutrality-under-section-230/

    • Hmmm…not if it is monopolistic.

      Based on information provided here and there on various news outlets about Facebook, its business model is to gobble up quickly any smaller competition, thus rendering NO competition for its platform. The federal government used to break up such utilities, which became monopolies.

  • 1984 is merely 35 years late.

  • For those of us who follow history this is just another reincarnation of Nazi censorship of the late 30’s and early 40’s. All in the name of protecting the public.

  • With due respect to all, who gives a microscopic damn about “Facebook”?
    .
    Everything that makes America and Americans special must be governed, defined, monitored, censored, now and forevermore, by the social excrement that is “Facebook”?
    .
    To what depths have we allowed our intellect, our self esteem to descend that we, however fleetingly, allow “Facebook” to control our very thoughts?
    .
    No? Read again. “…She also wants Facebook to ban concepts that refer to ideas”…
    .
    Get your heads out of your… social media… for just a second, that mean anything to you, suggest something you might want to be doing right about now?

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