Last year, Facebook banned its users from sharing and linking to independent news outlet Infowars unless their post explicitly condemns the content.
On the same day, it was revealed that Facebook had started banning users who interact with individuals that it brands as “hate figures.”
Since then, leaked documents have revealed that Facebook also keeps an internal lists of “hate agents” which it uses as one of the factors when deciding whether to ban users.
Now former Facebook content moderator Ryan Hartwig, who recorded undercover video that exposed racially and politically biased content moderation practices within the company, has revealed that Facebook also keeps another type of internal “hate” list pertaining to websites and that independent news outlet Infowars is on this list of “hate domains.”
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According to Hartwig, Facebook added Infowars to its list of hate domains as part of an “emergency update.”
Hartwig didn’t name any other sites that are on this list of hate domains or elaborate on the factors Facebook considers before adding a site to this list.
However, he suggested that Facebook treats sites on this list in the same way that it treats entities on its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations list which means users aren’t allowed to “praise, support, or represent” them.
While we don’t know the criteria Facebook uses when adding sites to this hate domains list, Facebook’s other internal hate lists such as its hate agents list use “signals” to determine when someone should be added to the list.
These signals can include praising individuals or organizations that Facebook deems to be a hate entity and violating Facebook’s hate speech rules.
One constant with all these lists is that the vague and subjective term hate is being used as the basis for both the lists and the signals that determine whether an individual or entity gets added to these lists.
The revelation that Facebook keeps an internal list of hate domains follows the platform taking action against several other sites at the domain level.
In May, it blocked image previews on links to AltCensored, an archive that hosts videos that have been censored by Big Tech platforms.
Facebook also banned users from linking to YouTube alternative Brighteon in May and said that linking to the site violates its community standards.