How Facebook flouts Holocaust denial laws except where it fears being sued

Leaked guidelines for moderators also reveal refugees aren’t paid by hate speech rules since they’re a warm subject

Facebooks policies on Holocaust denial can come under fresh scrutiny following a leak of documents that demonstrate moderators are now being told to not remove the information in the majority of the countries where it’s illegal.

The files explain that moderators must take lower Holocaust denial material in just four from the 14 countries where it’s outlawed, if reported.

One document states the organization doesn’t welcome local law that stands being an obstacle for an open and connected world and can only consider blocking or hiding Holocaust denial messages photos when we face the chance of getting blocked inside a country or perhaps a legal risk.

An image of the concentration camp using the caption No more Believe the Lies was allowable if published anywhere apart from the 4 countries by which Facebook fears law suit, one document explains. Facebook contested the figures but declined to elaborate.

The social networking service has additionally made the decision that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers ought to be considered like a quasi-protected category so they’re not going to get the protections provided to other vulnerable groups.

Documents show Facebook has told moderators to get rid of dehumanising speech or any requires violence against refugees. Content that states migrants should face a firing squad or compares these to creatures, crooks or filth also violate its guidelines.

However it adds: Like a quasi-protected category, they’re not going to possess the full protections in our hate speech policy because you want to allow individuals to have broad discussions on migrants and immigration that is a hot subject in approaching elections.

Based on the documents, comments allowed underneath the policy include ones for example: Islam is really a religion of hate. Close the borders to immigrating Muslims until we evaluate which the hell is happening migrants are extremely filthy migrants are thieves and robbers and Mexican immigrants are freeloaders mooching from tax dollars we have no idea have.

The documents show moderators happen to be told they don’t have to delete comment for example Fuck immigrant and the horny migrant teenagers from our kids.

However, it’s a breach from the rules on migrants to equate these to other kinds of crooks, eg rapists, child molesters, murderers or terrorists.

The definitions are positioned in training manuals supplied by Facebook towards the groups of moderators who review material that’s been flagged by people that use the social networking service.

The documents explain the laws and regulations the organization pertains to hate speech and in your area illegal content, with particular mention of the Holocaust denial.

One 16-page training manual explains Facebook is only going to hide or remove Holocaust denial content in four countries France, Germany, Israel and Austria. The document states but not on grounds of taste, speculate the organization fears it could get sued.

We feel our geo-blocking policy balances our belief in free expression using the practical have to respect local laws and regulations in a few sovereign nations to be able to remain unblocked and steer clear of legal liability. We’ll just use geo-blocking whenever a country has had sufficient steps to show the local legislation permits censorship for the reason that specific situation, it states.

Some 14 countries have legislation on their own books prohibiting the expression of claims that the level of dying and harshness of the Holocaust is overestimated. Under half the countries using these laws and regulations really pursue it. We block on report only in individuals countries that positively pursue the problem around.

Facebook stated the amount of countries put down in the documents isn’t accurate but frequently declined to state something more.

Monika Bickert, mind of worldwide policy management at Facebook, stated: Its not all group of employees is involved with enforcing our policies around in your area illegal content. Whether as reported by government entities or individual users, we remove content that violates our community standards.

Facebook stated it recognised the sensitivities round the issue of Holocaust denial in Germany along with other countries and [we] have taken steps that our reviewers are educated to be sincere of this sensitivity.

Facebook has provided others protected category status with regards to hate speech telling moderators to delete content associated with them.

One example of a protected category. Photograph: Guardian

And non-protected categories. Photograph: Guardian

The files explain that countries are not protected people from a country are protected. Followers of a particular religion are also protected, not the religion itself, the document states.

Groups that are not protected from hate speech include politicians from all parties, and people who are blonde, brunette, short, tall, fat and thin.

One slide explains that it is permissible to say: All terrorists are Muslims, but it is not permitted to say: All Muslims are terrorists. Facebook explains that terrorists are not a protected category, whereas Muslims are which is why the first remark can be ignored and the second should be deleted if flagged.

Other comments that flout Facebooks guidelines include French girls are stupid and Irish are stupid. But moderators are told to ignore Blonde women are stupid and Redheads are disgusting. According to the documents, Facebook tells moderators to err on the side of allowing content if they are unsure.

When context is ambiguous about whether a PC (protected category) or non-PC is being attacked, the default action is for reps to ignore, one slide says. It uses an example involving a photograph of Syrian refugees surrounding children in a swimming pool. The caption to the picture reads: The scum need to be eliminated. Facebook says this comment should not be deleted if flagged.

Because it is ambiguous whether the caption is attacking Syrian refugees (PC) or perpetrators of sexual assault (OR the subcategory Syrian refugees who commit sexual assault), the correct action is to ignore.

In November, it was reported that Facebook was working on censorship tools to lure China to permit it into the country.

Inside a report printed earlier this year, British MPs said it had been shockingly simple to find types of material which was meant to awaken hate against ethnic minorities on the 3 from the social networking platforms that people examined YouTube, Facebook.

They added: On Facebook we found community pages dedicated to stirring up hate, particularly against Jews and Muslims. We found freely antisemitic and Islamophobic community pages.

The Facebook documents on Holocaust denial highlight the companys complicated relationship with state censorship.

The organization continues to be criticised because of its readiness to conform with censorship demands in the governments of Turkey, India and Pakistan, which account for almost all Facebooks government-requested takedowns.

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