Zuckerberg’s Holocaust comment puts Facebook on the spot

AP News | 7/19/2018 | Staff
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NEW YORK (AP) — Denying the Holocaust happened is probably OK on Facebook. Calling for a mob to kill Jews is not.

Mark Zuckerberg’s awkward and eyebrow-raising attempt this week to explain where Facebook draws the line illustrates the complexities social media platforms face as they take on the unwanted role of referee in this age of online misinformation, manipulation and hate speech.

Facebook - Users - Disallows - Things - Nudity

Facebook, with 2.2 billion users, disallows such things as nudity, the selling of guns, credible threats of violence, and direct attacks on people because of their race, sex or sexual orientation.

Hours after the Facebook founder’s comments about Holocaust deniers aired on Wednesday, the company announced it will also start removing misinformation that could lead to bloodshed. The policy will begin in Sri Lanka and expand to Myanmar, where Facebook users have been accused of inciting anti-Muslim violence.

Guidelines - Areas - Qualifies - Groups - Someone

But beyond those guidelines, there are large gray areas. What, exactly, qualifies as supporting terrorist groups versus merely posting about them? Or mocking someone’s premature death — something that is also prohibited?

If Facebook were to ban Holocaust denial, it might also be called on to prohibit the denial of other historical events, such as the Armenian genocide or the massacre of Native Americans by European colonizers. This, Facebook might argue, could lead to a slippery slope where the company finds itself trying to verify the historical accuracy of users’ posts.

Facebook - Content

So, where it can, Facebook stays out of policing content.

While thousands of Facebook moderators around the world are assigned to review potentially objectionable content, aided by artificial intelligence, executives like to say the company doesn’t want to become an “arbiter of truth” and instead tries to let users decide for themselves.

News - Facebook - Days - Thanks - Company

This is why fake news isn’t actually banned from Facebook, though you might see less of it these days thanks to the company’s algorithms...
(Excerpt) Read more at: AP News
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