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Facebook is certainly not known for being a free social network. In fact, The Raw Story reported in 2012 that Facebook pays low wage workers to take down content based on its censorship list. But although Facebook regularly takes down pro-Palestinian posts, images of breastfeeding, and “any photoshopped images of people, whether negative, positive or neutral”, it has thus refused to take down a picture which depicts a little black baby as a monkey.
If you saw the picture below come across your Facebook feed, you might be offended:
Several people were reportedly offended by this picture, which depicts a black baby as a chimp, but thus far, Facebook has refused to take down the image.
According to Facebook’s own policy, it does not support hate speech, and defines hate speech as “content that attacks people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease is not allowed. We do, however, allow clear attempts at humor or satire that might otherwise be considered a possible threat or attack. This includes content that many people may find to be in bad taste (e.g. jokes, stand-up comedy, popular song lyrics, etc.).” Doesn’t the black baby as a monkey image meet that criteria? Not according to Facebook. Facebook users who reported the offending image received a message from in response that the image “does not violate our [Facebook] community standard on hate speech.”
Freedom of speech is fine, but Facebook should at least be consistent. It’s almost as if the social media giant determines its standard based on what Zuckerberg had for breakfast that morning, and that’s inconsistent, making it increasingly difficult for users to determine what rules and standards they should be adhering to.
What are your thoughts? Is Facebook’s bias getting out of hand? Are you bothered by the image or are users making too much of it?