Facebook to Crack Down on Hate Speech

Admits previous moderation has failed

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 29, 2013 11:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – Facebook came under fire last week—or more fire than usual—after feminist groups demanded the site take action against pages promoting violence against women, prompting Nissan and other companies to pull their ads from the site until the issue was addressed. Response has been swift: The social media service has now admitted that, despite prohibiting hate speech in its terms and conditions, it hasn't done a very good job enforcing the rules, and says it will improve its policies and moderation processes to crack down on the offending pages, the New York Times reports.

"In recent days, it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate," the Facebook Safety Team wrote in a blog post, outlining a five-step plan, including updated guidelines, better training for moderation teams, and increased accountability for creators of content that is not just deemed "hate speech" but anything "cruel or insensitive." The last part is a particularly interesting development, notes PC World, because the site will now take the old "name and shame" approach, requiring anyone who posts "cruel or insensitive humor" to put their real name to it.

The Facebook logo is displayed outside of Facebook's new headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
The Facebook logo is displayed outside of Facebook's new headquarters in Menlo Park, California.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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