Why Facebook’s censorship rules protect some speech you condemn and forbid some speech you condone

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The headline is misleading, as the article is really about the nuances and challenges Facebook must consider in trying to regulate speech, as the subheadline suggests. A more accurate version would be “Why Facebook’s Secret Censorship Rules…”

The rules developed considerable nuance. There is a ban against pictures of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character often used by “alt-right” white supremacists to perpetrate racist memes, but swastikas are allowed under a rule that permits the “display [of] hate symbols for political messaging.” In the documents examined by ProPublica, which are used to train content reviewers, this rule is illustrated with a picture of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that has been manipulated to apply a swastika to his sleeve.

pub. 06/2017

 

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A new era, a new type of propaganda

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“The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.”

pub. 02/2017