Monday, 24 June 2019


This morning on BBC Radio 4 Today programme Sir Nick Clegg was extolling the virtues of Facebook by promoting it's attempt at a clean-up, by passing the buck over to politicians saying "Mistakes have been made but laws and governance come from politicians".

An internal Facebook document reveals that the social media giant monitors its users' offline behaviour as part of how the company determines whether a person should be classified as a "Hate Agent," according to Breitbart's Allum Bokhari who has reviewed the document. Unfortunately Nick Robinson did not ask Sir Nick Clegg about this.

Titled "Hate Agent Policy Review," the document reveals that Facebook employs a series of "signals" which include a person's behaviour both on and off the platform. Once determined to be a "hate agent," a person is banned from the platform.

Facebook divides hate speech into three tiers depending on the severity of the offence.

Tier 1 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share one of the above-listed characteristics or immigration status [including all subsets except those described as having carried out violent crimes or sexual offenses], where attack is defined as

Any violent speech or support in written or visual form

Dehumanizing speech such as reference or comparison to:

Insects; Animals that are culturally perceived as intellectually or physically inferior; Filth, bacteria, disease, Sexual predator, Sub-humanity, Violent and sexual criminals, Other criminals [including but not limited to “thieves,” “bank robbers,” or saying “all are criminals”]; Mocking the concept, events or victims of hate crimes even if no real person is depicted in an image.

Tier 2 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share any of the above-listed characteristics, where attack is defined as; Statements of inferiority or an image implying a person's or a group's physical, mental, or moral deficiency; Physical; Mental; Moral; Expressions of contempt or their visual equivalent. Expressions of disgust or their visual equivalent. Cursing at a person or group of people who share protected characteristics.

Tier 3 attacks, which are calls to exclude or segregate a person or group of people based on the above-listed characteristics. We do allow criticism of immigration policies and arguments for restricting those policies.

If you have done any of the above over the past two years, Facebook considers it a 'hate signal.'

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