Facebook’s Community Standards are necessary to block content on the platform, but the company often does not properly explain how these rules work. That means when the site does make a decision to block something, it can leave users confused and angry as to why. That happened again this week when a female Facebook user wrote an article about the hateful messages that women receive on social media from men. When she posted the article on Facebook, she included a caption that said “all men are trash.” Her post was cited as hate speech, and she was removed from the platform for 24 hours.
This is obviously confusing for many reasons. The writer, Cara Curtis, included examples of hurtful posts that some women have received online. However, her content wasn’t blocked for that, but was instead taken down because of her response to it. Kayla Avery, the founder of the website Facebook Jailed, agreed with Curtis’ confusion, and believes Facebook may prioritize one group of users over others.
“It gave me this gut feeling that this wasn’t just a bizarre circumstance of just one person reporting our posts, but more of a Facebook internal business practice causing certain posts to be removed,” Avery told The Next Web. “Their community standards guidelines prioritize white men over everyone else, as well as showing the plethora of actual hate speech content that doesn’t get removed by Facebook.”
It’s doubtful that Facebook means to cause this sort of harm, but the fact that these mistakes keep happening just proves it needs to get serious about its own censorship policies.