Analyzing Hate Speech on Social Media

At one given time, you must have encountered a Facebook comment that you saw as comprising of hate speech. After raising the issue with Facebook, they responded after several hours assuring you that the content of the offensive post is legitimate. This is what has been happening in the past few years where disgruntled users complain about offensive posts that are not removed. HuffPost editor Paige Lavender learned the hard way that an offensive message she received via Facebook had no grounds for hate speech. This prompted a scrutiny of what Facebook considers as hate speech. The best place to start is the Facebook training document. Another place to carry out your study is real-world comments where people have openly engaged in hate speech. Most of these comments or posts will be offensive to many readers. This is one of the issues that Facebook regulates alongside harassment and threats.

Hate speech definition
Facebook regards an attack that results to degrading generalization as hate speech. At the same time, slur will also be treated as hate speech as it’s also an attack. Hate speech can also be described as attacks that target a protected category. For starters, the targeted category may be based on a number of issues such as a serious disability, diseases, sexual orientation, national origin as well as religious affiliation. Ethnicity, race and gender attacks can result to hate speech. Most of these guidelines were published by an investigative news organization referred to as ProPublica back in June. The organization wanted to discover some of the experiences that people have had with hate speech.

The New York Times asked Danielle Citron for help in analyzing a number of posts that people said amounted to hate speech while Facebook had other views. At the moment, Danielle Citron is a professor at the University of Maryland where he specializes in law. The professor said that when some of these statements are enforced with historic and cultural contexts, they can yield counterintuitive results. This happens despite rules and regulations by Facebook deeming some of the statements as abusive. Some broad genres are covered by some sub-genres which nullify the broader generalization. This happens even in the most robust and thoughtful definitions. When Facebook was asked about the issue, the company responded through its spokeswoman who said that the comments are analyzed by the thousands of content reviewers that they have employed. She also confirmed that the company constantly evolves its policies.