Are Facebook’s Hate Speech Rules Better than Twitter’s?

In October, Facebook removed a video from the official account of Louis Farrakhan. Facebook said that the video, which compared Jews to termites, violated the company’s hate speech rules. Twitter, however, had not taken down the video and has said that its new policy on “dehumanizing comments” had not gone into effect yet.

Video violates our hate speech policies: Facebook

A Facebook representative told The Wrap, “The video was taken down because it violates our hate speech policies.” Louis Farrakhan, the controversial Nation of Islam leader, made his comments in Detroit at a 23rd anniversary event for the 1995 Million Man March.

Farrakhan said, “So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, call me anti-Semite. Stop it. I’m anti-Termite. I don’t know nothing about hating somebody because of their religious preference.” His comments drew applause and laughter from the audience.

In its statement to The Wrap, Facebook called those comments ‘Tier 1 hate speech’ and removed the video to show its intolerance towards such content.

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Twitter said that it would not suspend the account of Louis Farrakhan for a tweet with the video comparing Jews to termites.

In a blog post, the company defined ‘dehumanizing’ tweets as “language that treats others as less than human … Examples can include comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to a tool for some other purpose (mechanistic).” Though Twitter hasn’t removed the video, it does seem fairly clear that Farrakhan’s words do violate Twitter’s new policies about dehumanizing tweets.

Twitter’s new rule not in effect yet

A Twitter spokesperson said that these new rules have not taken effect yet, which is why Farrakhan’s language does not violate any extant policy. The spokesperson did not say when the new rule would go into effect or whether Farrakhan’s tweet would violate the new policy.

Similarly, earlier in June, Twitter did not remove a video clip captioned “Thoroughly and completely unmasking the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan” that Farrakhan posted.  Facebook responded to the clip by un-verifying Farrakhan’s account.

According to The New York Times, Farrakhan’s Facebook account has not been suspended, but it has received a “strike.”

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