Facebook is set to implement moderation algorithms that prioritize “hate speech” against US minorities over hate speech against white people and even men.
The largest social media platform “is overhauling its algorithms that detect hate speech and deprioritizing hateful comments against whites, men, and Americans,” reads the report in The Washington Post. According to internal documents leaked to the Post, this new moderation policy has been dubbed “WoW Project.”
“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,” Facebook spokeswoman Sally Aldous told Post.
The project will involve “re-engineering Facebook’s automated moderation systems to get better at detecting and automatically deleting hateful language that is considered ‘the worst of the worst.’”
According to the new proposals, it is not as wrong to spew “hatred” directed towards men, whites, Americans, and Christians than it is to do the same against US-minority groups.
The report explained that as one way to assess severity, Facebook assigned different types of attacks numerical scores weighted based on their perceived harm. For example, the company’s systems would now place a higher priority on automatically removing statements such as “Gay people are disgusting” than “Men are pigs.”
The report said that the change in Facebook’s hate speech policies is in response to “a racial reckoning within the company as well as years of criticism from civil rights advocates.”