Facebook overhauling hate speech algorithms to prioritize anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ comments over anti-white – WDHN – DothanFirst.com

Posted By on December 12, 2020

AUSTIN (KXAN) Social media juggernaut Facebook is currently working on a big revamp of its algorithms that monitor and police hate speech on its platform.

Known as the WoW Project, the developing endeavor will aim to be more active and immediate in wiping slurs and demeaning comments from posts while prioritizing speech against some communities over others, the Washington Post reports.

While speech against white people and men will still be considered hateful, it will not be among whats considered Worst of the Worst.

The algorithm will be split up into four quadrants, WaPo explains. Those four areas will be:

Facebook has always monitored hate speech, but it will now not treat comments like I hate white people with the same seriousness as comments like I hate Jewish people.

We know that hate speech targeted towards underrepresented groups can be the most harmful, which is why we have focused our technology on finding the hate speech that users and experts tell us is the most serious, said Facebook spokeswoman Sally Aldous to WaPo. Over the past year, weve also updated our policies to catch more implicit hate speech, such as content depicting Blackface, stereotypes about Jewish people controlling the world, and banned Holocaust denial.

Facebooks de-prioritization of anti-white hate speech is also an attempt to keep up with sweeping societal change, as protests and campaigns for racial justice took front and center in the wake of George Floyds in-custody death earlier this year.

Facebooks reasoning for de-prioritizing speech against white people lines up with what scholar Stanley Fish calls a key distinction in a 1993 article for The Atlantic.

Someone will always say, But two wrongs dont make a right; if it was wrong to treat blacks unfairly, it is wrong to give blacks preference and thereby treat whites unfairly. This objection is just another version of the forgetting and rewriting of history, Fish says.

Fish, who is white, explains that to consider anti-white speech the same as anti-black speech would be bizarre.

The hostility of one group stems not from any wrong done to it but from its wish to protect its ability to deprive citizens of their voting rights, to limit access to educational institutions, to prevent entry into the economy except at the lowest and most menial levels, and to force members of the stigmatized group to ride in the back of the bus.

Meanwhile, Fish argues hostility toward white people is the result of actions taken against them.

He says while its wrong to treat anyone unfairly, Black people have not been treated just unfairly, saying, They have been bought, sold, killed, beaten, raped, excluded, exploited, shamed, and scorned for a very long time. The word unfair is hardly an adequate description of their experience.

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Facebook overhauling hate speech algorithms to prioritize anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ comments over anti-white - WDHN - DothanFirst.com

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