Facebook Expands Content Ban To Include Blackface, Jewish Stereotypes

Expanding its classification of racist and bigoted content, Facebook will no longer allow depictions of blackface or negative Jewish stereotypes to appear on its platforms.

The idea is to “more specifically account for certain kinds of implicit hate speech,” Guy Rosen, vice president, integrity at Facebook, notes in a new post.

In general, the social giant is improving its ability to police racist and otherwise hateful content, according to Rosen.

During the second quarter, Facebook took action on 22.5 million pieces of offensive content, which was more than double the 9.6 million pieces of content that caught the company’s eye during the first quarter of the year.  

That’s despite the fact the company’s content review efforts were significantly impacted by the pandemic in the second quarter.

“We sent our content reviewers home in March to protect their health and safety and relied more heavily on our technology to help us review content,” Rosen said.

The company has since made it possible for many reviewers to work from home, but its reviewing efforts were compromised in certain areas.

In March, for example, Rosen said the company took action on fewer pieces of content on both Facebook and Instagram for suicide and self-injury, and child nudity and sexual exploitation on Instagram.

Facebook was able to take more action on terroristic content. In the second quarter, it took down 8.7 million pieces of such content, which was up from 6.3 million pieces during the first quarter.

To instill confidence in users, brands, and its myriad critics, Rosen also announced Facebook plans to undergo an independent, third-party audit, starting in 2021, to validate the numbers it publishes in its Community Standards Enforcement Reports.
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