Facebook Protect far-right and racist pages From Hate Speech but Not Muslim immigrants

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SHAFAQNA – An undercover investigation has found that Facebook gives special protections to far-right and racist pages while allow people to racially abuse Muslim immigrants.

Facebook is accused of granting special protections to racist and far-right pages while allowing violent and racist content targeting Muslim immigrants, revealed British public-service Channel 4 in an undercover investigation show.

The new report, broadcasted Tuesday 17th of July, shows that Facebook trainees who review content posted on the site are told to remove posts that racially abuse protected ethnic groups but not if they are limited to immigrants, the Independent reports.

Dispatches’ undercover reporter took a video in which moderators are «shown explaining that a post targeting Muslims with racist language would be removed … But if the posts specifically targeted Muslim immigrants, then that could be allowed to stay up because it is a political statement, Facebook has suggested».

Protecting racist pages

While Facebook’s content moderators are instructed to keep posts abusing muslim immigrants, the platform reportedly secures pages owned or run by racists and supremacists. Dispatches’ investigation shows that posts by far-right groups such as Britain First and a page run by English far-right activist known as Tommy Robinson enjoy special protections, «usually afforded to governments and news organizations» by Facebook.

The shielded pages won’t have their «problem content deleted». Moderators forward them to full-time Facebook employees who review them. In fact, Facebook sees those pages as platforms that contain political content that deserves being reviewed.

«People are debating very sensitive issues on Facebook, including issues like immigration. And that political debate can be entirely legitimate», argued Richard Allen, Facebook’s vice president of global policy solutions, adding that «having extra reviewers on that when the debate is taking place absolutely makes sense and I think people would expect us to be careful and cautious before we take down their political speech».

However, for Facebook investor Roger McNamee, decisions made by the platform’s moderators are more focused on «ensuring that users stay engaged with the site», reports the same source.

«Facebook has learned that the people on the extremes are the really valuable ones because one person on either extreme can often provoke 50 or 100 other people and so they want as much extreme content as they can get».

Indeed, a far-right extremist page like the one owned by Tommy Robinson has more than 900,000 fans.

Reacting to the revelations brought by the investigation, Facebook told the Independent that «[they] take mistakes in some of [their] training processes and enforcement incredibly seriously and are grateful to the journalists who brought them to [their] attention», YABILADI reported.

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