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Facebook's Latest Civil Rights Audit Update Reveals What Most People of Color On The Platform Already Know

Although the rise of white nationalism online is often portrayed as a quick, spontaneous event, most people of color online, have clocked it for years. The problem has simply gotten too big to ignore, especially on Facebook. On Sunday, Facebook published its second update on the company’s Civil Rights Audit . This audit is meant to see where Facebook needs to implement further changes in order to strengthen civil rights and liberties on its platform. Led by American Civil Liberties Union Washington Director Laura Murphy, over 90 civil rights organizations contributed to the audit. One of the key recommendations contained in the audit involved how Facebook handles white supremacy. In March, Facebook updated an existing policy to include banning white nationalism and separatism. However, that ban seemed to exist more in name than anything else, after the company said a video promoting white nationalism…. didn’t fall under its white nationalism ban . Although Facebook eventually...

Jul 1, 2019

A Recent Investigation Found Hundreds Law Enforcement Officers Were Part of Facebook Groups Promoting Hate Speech and Bigotry

The institution of policing in the United States cannot be separated from anti-Blackness and other forms of structural violence. It’s no secret that there are often connections between police and white supremacist groups. In January 2017, The Intercept covered the FBI’s quiet investigation of white supremacist’s infiltration of law enforcement . Now, a report from Reveal, found that the problem exists online too. Through Facebook groups, hundreds of current and former police officers trade racist memes, conspiracy theories, and engage in Islamophobic rhetoric. Reveal gathered data prior to mid-2018, when Facebook removed a function that let people download membership lists of groups. The outlet developed two lists: “members of extremist groups and members of police groups.” Then, Reveal ran the two datasets to “find users who were members of at least one law enforcement group and one far-right group.” They discovered 14,000 cross-matches. Reveal was able to verify that “almost 400...

Jun 17, 2019

Nothing Has Been Done About White Supremacy On Twitter. Now We May Know Why

White supremacy on Twitter is such a common problem that “Jack, ban the Nazis” has became a sort of mantra found beneath almost every tweet by the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey. The platform has even been referred to as a “Nazi haven” by Techcrunch . Many have wondered why Twitter hasn’t done more to combat white supremacy. After all, the company has gone up against ISIS and other extremists groups, managing to almost completely eradicate them from its platform. But, a recent Motherboard report confirmed what most marginalized populations already know: Twitter can’t take a firm stance against white supremacy, because that would mean banning some Republican politicians, too. Motherboard reported that an employee working on machine learning and artificial intelligence issues at the company said: With every sort of content filter, there is a tradeoff, he explained. When a platform aggressively enforces against ISIS content, for instance, it can also flag innocent accounts as well, such as...

Apr 25, 2019