The option to report hate speech on Facebook has been on since 2017, but the largest social media is getting more strict on its community standard in the wake of violence data breach.
Facebook’s more than 2 billion users globally makes it a easy target for creators of fake accounts aimed at spreading hate speech and fake news.
On May 15, 2018, Facebook published its first quarterly Community Standards Enforcement Report, where it said it shut down 583 million fake accounts within three months.
What about hate speech on Facebook?
During the months under review, Facebook moderated 2.5m pieces of hate speech, 1.9m pieces of terrorist propaganda, 3.4m pieces of graphic violence and 21m pieces of content featuring adult nudity and sexual activity.
“This is the start of the journey and not the end of the journey and we’re trying to be as open as we can,” said Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice-president of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
One thing we need to understand is: Facebook couldn’t have done it alone. Reported cases of hate speech by its users were also acted upon.
List of posts you can report to Facebook:
- Nudity “We took down 21 million pieces of adult nudity and sexual activity in Q1 2018 — 96% of which was found and flagged by our technology before it was reported. Overall, we estimate that out of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on Facebook, 7 to 9 views were of content that violated our adult nudity and pornography standards.’
- Violence “For graphic violence, we took down or applied warning labels to about 3.5 million pieces of violent content in Q1 2018 — 86% of which was identified by our technology before it was reported to Facebook.”
- Suicide or self injury
- False news
- Authorized sales
- Hate Speech “For hate speech, our technology still doesn’t work that well and so it needs to be checked by our review teams. We removed 2.5 million pieces of hate speech in Q1 2018 — 38% of which was flagged by our technology,”it says.
What is hate speech?
Hate speech is a comment made aimed at attacking another person or group on the basis of religion, race, national origin, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
Hate speech is also known as comment on social media platforms (Facebook, twitter) that’s capable of inciting violence against one another.
Hate speech is aimed at disparaging a group of people because of their religious beliefs, or making report that makes another person or group fill inferior, or making comment that degrade their self-esteem.
Hate speech is capable of instigating war between one group and another within a country or between one community against another.
Legal perspective to hate speech in Nigeria
Hate speech isn’t yet a legal term in Nigeria and some countries, but it is constitutionally protected in the United States. This means that victim of hate speech may seek redress in the court where it’s legally recognised.
Nigerian government has been making efforts to make hate speech punishable under the law just as her National Assembly proposed death penalty for any person found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person.
The bill, was sponsored by the spokesman of the upper chamber, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, which seeks the establishment of an ‘Independent National Commission for Hate Speeches.’
The bill read:
“A person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provides, distributes and/or directs the performance of any material, written and/or visual, which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, commits an offence, if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up against any person or person from such an ethnic group in Nigeria.”
“A person subjects another to harassment on the basis of ethnicity for the purposes of this section where, on ethnic grounds, he unjustifiably engages in a conduct which has the purpose or effect of (a) violating that other person’s dignity or (b) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person subjected to the harassment.
Hate speech as a threat to freedom of speech
The proposal by one of the federal lawmakers to criminalise hate speech was condemned by large majority of Nigerians, who feared that government might use it to clampdown on freedom of expression.
Just like the men on the street, some senators weren’t in support of the hate speech bill.
One of them is Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central), who warned that passage of the Bill on hate speech “will lead to prohibition of free speech in the country because most Nigerian leaders are averse to criticisms.”
“Many critics and social media enthusiasts will end up in the gallows. Our condemned cells in the prisons will be filled with bloggers, critics and perceived political opponents. We must fight Hate speech, hate speech is a real threat to peace, unity and order of a nation, but we must protect free speech. Free speech is the shield of the oppressed,” he said.
What Nigerian government see as hate speech may not be seen as one by Facebook because the social media is a global platform.
So…check the step by step guide on how to report violent post or hate speech on Facebook:
Login to your Facebook page
Look for post that has hate-speech tone on your news feed.
By top right hand corner of the post click the three-dot option
The next options are: nudity, harassment, violence, suicide or self injury, false news, spam, and hate speech, click the one that best describes the post you’re reporting to Facebook the largest social media will”use your feedback to help us learn when something’s not right.”
When you click on any of the option, it’ll be shown with blue button while the send button will also come up with blue button, click send
You can also message the owner of the post to take the post down
Hate speech isn’t the only post you report to Facebook, you can also report deceptive or scam post to Facebook