Facebook

Facebook Employees Wanted Trump Posts Removed as 'Hate Speech'

Social network loosening community standards for newsworthy events instead.

|

White House

Some employees of Facebook argued that the social network company should remove some of Donald Trump's posts because they allegedly violated community standards about hate speech, the Wall Street Journal reported. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ultimately decided, last December, that such a move would be inappropriate, according to the Journal, which also reported that a number of employees complained about this, with those responsible for censoring content even threatening to quit.

The Journal report, based on anonymous sources, comes on the heels of a purportedly leaked internal Facebook memo from Zuckerberg, defending Peter Thiel's position on the Facebook board from "questions and concerns." Thiel, a Silicon Valley investor has come under fire for being a prominent Trump supporter.

"There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault," Zuckerberg wrote in the post. "It may be because they believe strongly in smaller government, a different tax policy, health care system, religious issues, gun rights or any other issue where he disagrees with Hillary."

"I know there are strong views on the election this year both in the US and around the world," Zuckerberg reminded employees. "We see them play out on Facebook every day."

Zuckerberg continued, explaining how diversity works: "Our community will be stronger for all our differences, not only in areas like race and gender but also in areas like political ideology and religion."

Calls to ban hate speech, from Facebook employees or anyone else, are deeply misguided. Such bans have the opposite of the intended effect, protecting the forbidden speech from critical engagement and giving it a martyr-like status. Unpopular speech is the most important speech to protect, otherwise free speech is an illusion. Facebook, a U.S.-based company that enjoys First Amendment protections, nevertheless regularly block contents around the world—honoring 20,000 such requests from 92 national governments in the first half of 2015 alone.

Earlier this year, Facebook was criticized for perceived political bias when it was revealed that the network's trending topics were curated by human editors, while on Friday Facebook announced it would be loosening its community standards for "items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest."

NEXT: Brickbat: Man's Best Friend

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Good for Zuckerman

      1. Oddly enough I came here to say this.

        1. I came here to see someone else say it, (although I was thinking it).

          1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 6-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $90 per hour.
            I work through this web site.. Go to tech tab start your work… http://www.Trends88.Com

            1. I came here to say this!

            2. http://www.plusaf.com/homepage…..llshit.jpg

              And thank goodness there aren’t any FB employees here to censor that comment…
              Pussies… and Liberal “free speech as long as it agrees with us – ites.”

          2. I came here while saying this.

        2. I did not come here to say this.

        3. I came here to say this, because I did not say it last week when someone posted it.

      2. I came here for the free food.

        1. Free beer?

          1. Wow, first i couldn’t figure out how to get my Koch checks, and now I find out there’s free beer I’m missing out one?

            Damn, I’m really bad at being a class traitor I mean libertarian.

  2. The best thing a Trump supporter and worst thing a Hillary supporter could do would be to shield the voter from Trump’s social media declarations.

  3. Facebook was wrong on this one. They have a policy. That policy should apply to all users. Instead of changing the policy, they offered a carve out for Trump.

    1. Maybe so, but it’s not like Trump is getting a pass for multiple violations of the espionage act and records keeping act.

    2. OMG! Nooooooo!

    3. A policy that is hopelessly subjective isn’t really something that can apply to all.

    4. Are there specific Trump FB posts you can cite as against FB policy? Or are they just posts that are upsetting to some people because they are ‘forced’ to read something they don’t like, written by someone they don’t like?

  4. Unpopular speech is the most important speech to protect

    Unpopular speech is the only speech that needs protecting. Nobody objects if a nice guy says nice things, the only time you’re going to find yourself defending free speech is when you’ve got some disgusting pig saying disgusting pig things. Which, sadly, is why so many people don’t see free speech as all that great – it’s not like We are going to be silenced since We are nice people saying nice things, it’s just Them that will be made to shut up with the lies and the hate and the wrongthink.

    1. the only time you’re going to find yourself defending free speech is when you’ve got some disgusting pig saying disgusting pig things

      Are you sure of this? There are several free speech ‘cases’ monitored by FIRE which doesn’t seem to involve “some disgusting pig saying disgusting pig things”.

      1. Are you sure of this? There are several free speech ‘cases’ monitored by FIRE which doesn’t seem to involve “some disgusting pig saying disgusting pig things”.

        I would be willing to bet that the people doing the banning don’t see it the same way you do.

      2. Unpopular speech on campus has become anything not bulleted in a memo issued by a diversity officer.

        1. “BULLETS”!? nnNNNGGGAAHHHHHH! I’M TRIGGERED!! OMG…”TRIGGERED”? I JUST TRIGGERED MYSELF.
          AAAHH…”TRIGGERED” AGAIN? YOU GUYS I’VE SET OFF AN OUTRAGE FEEDBACK LOOP! HELP!

          1. And this is EXACTLY how a naked singularity starts……

    2. “Nobody objects if a nice guy says nice things.”

      Secret Service Agent: Good morning, Mrs. Clinton.
      HRC: Fuck off.

      There are exceptions.

    3. Of course the rub is the fact that, at some point, everyone finds themselves the disgusting pig saying disgusting pig things. It’s all a matter of who is the arbiter of nice and disgusting pig.

  5. Keeping Trump means more twitters. some supporting, some opposing

    It answers the age old gnome underpants question

    Phase 1: Collect Underpants

    Phase 2: (twitter about it)

    Phase 3: Profit

    1. *puts on reading glasses*

      *looks meaningfully over the statements*

      *gently puts the proof down*

      Solved.

  6. It may be because they believe strongly in smaller government

    Trump wouldn’t know small government if it grabbed him by the pussy

    1. He’d shrink one lip and engorge the other. The optics alone are worth it.

    2. Hey, he’s moving on smaller government like a bitch.

    3. Oh, he’d “know” it alright, probably more than once.

  7. Tolerant people do not tolerate intolerance.

  8. I prefer speech that crawls in the shadows, recoiling from the light of robust discourse until it transforms into an all consuming demon that consumes everything in its path. This is why I support banning hate speech.

  9. Hillary Clinton hates my right to keep and bear arms and control my own body.

  10. “People who are committed to that game will do anything rather than stop playing it… If you have a comprehensive explanation for everything, then it decreases uncertainty and anxiety and reduces your cognitive load and if you can use that simplifying algorithm to put yourself on the side of moral virtue then you’re constantly a good person with a minimum of effort.”

    This guy gets what’s wrong with “hate speech”.

  11. like Karen explained I am impressed that a stay at home mom can earn $5562 in one month on the internet
    see more at———–>>> http://tinyurl.com/Usatoday01

  12. It may be because they believe strongly in smaller government

    Goddamn it. This is so f***ing irritating. Nobody who strongly supports smaller government and had that as their top priority should be supporting Trump. This is why Trump and Republican pols in general are all toxic.

    Of course people are gonna be freaked by “smaller government” if they associate it with Trump.

    1. Of course people are gonna be freaked by “smaller government” if they associate it with Trump.

      I think that’s the plan.

  13. huh…..the embedded picture shows Obama’s horns. I’m surprised that passed the censoring filters. someone is going to having a knock on the door soon.

  14. RE: Facebook Employees Wanted Trump Posts Removed as ‘Hate Speech’
    Social network loosening community standards for newsworthy events instead.

    I sure am glad a huge corporation like Facebook has the right idea toward free speech.
    I’m sure they will be glad when The State takes over their social network for the good of the masses and do the censoring for them.
    There’s nothing more wonderful than a huge corporation embracing The State and all its wonderful ideas.

    1. Well, someone edited out the “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” parts but otherwise the ideas expressed certainly look obvious to me…..

  15. Shades of the House on UnAmerican Activities. Facebook already has a perfectly adequate censorship “feature” that We the Peeps may freely utilize. It’s called UNFOLLOW. Let the idiots gather into their little dark corners of unnecessaryness where they may be watched, tracked by bean counters who track such ‘hateful’ dissenters in the name of freedom. Censors are so tender they delude themselves into believing if something offends their sensitivities or insults their cause then obviously everyone should be offended. The trouble with deleting comments that pinch their panties is “free people” are denied the opportunity to decide for ourselves. Censorship was considered something to rail against in the 1900’s, 1930’s, 1940’s 1950’s, the 60’s, and 70’s but somewhere in the 80’s the tables turned and the censored became the censor.

    1. Exactly. Get off of Facebook. They are the enemy of freedom.

  16. Facebook’s moderation policy is arbitrary and meaningless. I just came out of a 30-day suspension for an innocuous comment to a racist. http://medium.com/@scottindc/f…..0994e4c53b

  17. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,

    —————– http://YoutubeJobs.Nypost55.com

  18. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.