Facebook bots label US Declaration of Independence as hate speech

Photo: Shutterstock

Facebook has apologised after its content-filtering algorithms flagged the US Declaration of Independence as a hate speech.

Parts of the document was flagged as "hate speech" by Facebook bots after a Liberty, Texas-based newspaper, the Liberty County Vindicator, posted on Facebook "small bites" from the Declaration in the lead up to the country's Independence Day on July 4.

Facebook later restored the post and tendered an apology to the newspaper, Liberty County Vindicator said in a report on Tuesday.

The newspaper broke the Declaration down into 12 small bites and decided to post one each morning from June 24 to July 4.

The first nine parts posted as scheduled, but The Vindicator found that part 10, consisting of paragraphs 27-31 of the Declaration, did not appear.

Instead, it received a notice from Facebook saying that the post "goes against our standards on hate speech."

While The Vindicator said it could not be certain exactly what triggered Facebook's filtering program, the editor suspected it was most likely the phrase "Indian Savages", the newspaper said.

However, Facebook realised its mistake and restored the post after The Vindicator raised an alarm.

"It looks like we made a mistake and removed something you posted on Facebook that didn't go against our Community Standards. We want to apologise and let you know that we've restored your content and removed any blocks on your account related to this incorrect action," Facebook was quoted as saying in a statement sent to The Vindicator.

 



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel