They said it was a mistake but the real story could be more complicated.
Facebook finally messed up. Liberals were outraged last week after a controversial post by a black blogger was purged from the site. The company is so desperate for Millennial approval that it immediately abandoned its conviction and issued a groveling apology.
Layla Saad, a popular black blogger, kicked the hornet’s nest when she posted a racially-tinged quote to her personal page.
“Simply put, white women have mastered how to ignore, silence, discount, and violate black, brown, Native and indigenous women, just like white men do to them. And these same white men have also placed Becky on an untouchable pedestal deeming her superior to non-white, women,” the quote began.
Understandably, many people were offended. Facebook responded by deleting the post. If the story had ended there, there wouldn’t be much to say. The company’s strict censorship rules may have been burdensome, but at least they would have been consistent.
However, that’s not what happened. Facebook proved that its liberal base is more important to them than conservatives. Conservative content that’s deemed offensive is regularly purged from the website, never to be seen again. Saad’s post appeared again because her Millennial cronies complained.
“A white woman nonsense incident yesterday,” Saad whined in a separate post.
“A racist experience for my daughter today. And on top of that, spiritual white women bringing their violent bypassing into my space to make me question if what happened actually happened, and questioning how can I change MY behaviour, instead of white people changing theirs.”
Racism against whites, it seems, is allowed.
“The post was mistakenly removed. As soon as we were notified of the problem, we investigated and restored the post upon determining that it did not violate our Community Standards,” Facebook’s spokesperson wrote in a detailed post.
“Our team processes millions of reports each week, and sometimes we get things wrong. The post has been restored since it didn’t violate our standards. We’ve informed Layla Saad of the restoration and apologized for the error.”
Didn’t violate their company standards? Saad’s post demonizes white women based on nothing more than their skin color. Facebook king Mark Zuckerberg constantly makes a point of how open and accepting he is. Racism, he claims, is one of the ugliest phenomenons in society.
So why is it okay when it’s aimed at white people?
“With billions of posts on our platform—and with the need for context in order to assess the meaning and intent of reported posts—there’s not yet a perfect tool or system that can reliably find and distinguish posts that cross the line from expressive opinion into unacceptable hate speech,” Richard Allan, VP EMEA Public Policy at Facebook, wrote earlier this week.
The company tried to pretend that Saad’s post was removed due to a glitch, and not because of the actual racist content that she posted. Facebook needs to make a decision. Either anything goes and posts from liberal AND conservative activists are allowed to go live, or their censorship should be applied equally to all of their users.
Zuckerberg wrote about the company’s struggles to appear fair while still favoring liberals:
“In the last year, the complexity of the issues we’ve seen has outstripped our existing processes for governing the community. We saw this in errors taking down newsworthy videos related to Black Lives Matter and police violence… We’ve seen this in misclassifying hate speech in political debates in both directions — taking down accounts and content that should be left up and leaving up content that was hateful and should be taken down. Both the number of issues and their cultural importance has increased recently.”
Zuckerberg’s humility is refreshing, but he focuses only the mistakes Facebook made with liberals. If it was an error to delete Black Lives Matter protest videos, then surely it was an error to delete far-right activism videos as well?
Hate speech is ugly no matter who’s uttering it.
“This has been painful for me because I often agree with those criticizing us that we’re making mistakes. These mistakes are almost never because we hold ideological positions at odds with the community, but instead are operational scaling issues. Our guiding philosophy for the Community Standards is to try to reflect the cultural norms of our community. When in doubt, we always favor giving people the power to share more,” Zuckerberg added.
Facebook wants you to share your every thought…as long as you think like a liberal.