US Declaration of Independence is “Hate Speech” according to Facebook Bots

In what can be seen as an unnecessary case of embarassment for Facebook, which is already in the midst of an increased scope of investigation regarding the sharing of user data with third-party organization Cambridge Analytica, after a post by a local newspaper in Texas that contained text from the Declaration of Independence was removed by content-filtering algorithms for being hate speech. The paper in question was the Liberty County Vindicator, and it had posted sections of the official document that is proudly upheld by the citizens of the United States as being one of its founding documents, on the occasion of Independence Day which was celebrated yesterday on the 4th of July, 2018.


The Libery County Vindicator decided to use the Declaration of Independence as a series of posts to Facebook, breaking it down into twelve sections, one of each which was to posted on a daily basis, starting on the 24th of June, as a sort of lead up to Independence day. Strangely, while the first nine sections managed to be posted without a hitch, it was the tenth section that covered paragraphs 23-31 of the Declaration that not only did not manage to get posted, but saw the newspaper receive a message from Facebook that said the post violated its standards on hate speech. It was only after the newspaper created a stir about this that Facebook went ahead and restored the post, issuing an apology to the effect that the mistake was on their part.

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