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Facebook Steps Up Monitoring of Anti-Gay Hate Speech

GLAAD reports that it has been working with Facebook following anti-gay remarks left on a memorial page for those who have taken their lives to due to bullying, and says that the social network is increasing its enforcement of violations to its terms and conditions dealing with hate speech.

Wearpurple Said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes. to GLAAD: "Educating people about the lasting and damaging impacts of ignorant and hateful comments is a responsibility shared by parents, educators, organizations like GLAAD, and services like Facebook. We take our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities very seriously and react quickly to reports of inappropriate content and behavior. The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate balance between giving people the freedom to express their opinions and viewpoints–even those that may be controversial to some–and maintaining a safe and trusted environment. We have policies that prohibit hateful content and we have built a robust reporting infrastructure and an expansive team to review reports and remove content quickly. In addition to responding to reports, we have automated systems that use a number of factors to flag content that might violate our policies, so we can review and take it down as quickly as possible and before it’s reported.”

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  1. How about banning people from facebook for these infractions. I somehow think that might stop the problem.

    Posted by: Mikey | Oct 13, 2010 12:49:51 PM

  2. Mikey, that does sound like a good idea!

    I must say that they've been pretty good about taking down anti-gay groups from Serbia, at least after a few days. The latest one got up to 100,000 last week, but they still took it down. It's interesting when they vanish, because all your posts about it vanish too.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Oct 13, 2010 1:34:55 PM

  3. I'm glad my boss is out of the office this morning because I've been crying for the last 5 minutes after seeing that graphic. I don't think I have anything purple to wear, but I will by the 20th.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Oct 13, 2010 1:37:32 PM

  4. It is much more disturbing that a communication tool that has become a primary method for communication is censoring speech. Censorship is wrong for any reason other than National Security.

    Posted by: Jason | Oct 13, 2010 2:18:08 PM

  5. So when does this kick in? There's a lot of ugly on that page right now.

    Jason, corporations are as free to censor their own sites as people are to make hurtful comments. Facebook is open to the public, but they get to make the rules, not us.

    If you want a forum free of censorship, you're free to start your own.

    Posted by: Dusty | Oct 13, 2010 2:41:49 PM

  6. Regarding censure of speech, one should realize that the 1st Amendment right to free speech is dependent on the speech itself not creating a clear and present danger per precedence from a Supreme Court Case, and if our LGBT teenagers are dying via suicide from messages of homophobia, then the hateful messages found on Facebook would present a clear and present danger on the lives of LGBT youth.

    Posted by: SFNative | Oct 13, 2010 3:48:57 PM

  7. Jason -- Facebook is an entirely private enterprise, not the government, and not a common carrier. You want to use it, you agree to abide by the rules. There is no reason whatsoever that Facebook needs to continue to permit obvious hate speech.

    Posted by: MiloTock | Oct 13, 2010 3:54:38 PM

  8. Not sure if people have seen this response call to action to throw rocks at people wearing purple on oct 20: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122462384475928#!/event.php?eid=159675570720729

    Posted by: lito S | Oct 13, 2010 6:27:33 PM

  9. Next Wednesday, March 20th is supposed to be Sprit Day in memory of those who recently have killed themselves after being bullied. Wouldn't it make a much more powerful statement if instead of just wearing purple and gathering some place after work...if we ALL stayed out of work and did positive things within the community!?!?

    Posted by: bobby | Oct 13, 2010 9:07:51 PM

  10. About time, too! Until now (or soon?), it has been a really awkward and time-consuming process to report hate-speech on Facebook. I'm glad that something is *finally* being done about it :)

    Posted by: Chaq | Oct 14, 2010 12:15:42 AM

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