Facebook's double standards

A Facebook experiment confirmed that despite “Community Standard” rules, Facebook makes decisions that are extremely biased regarding material they allow and material they remove.  At the end of last year, the Israel Law Center (ILC) conducted a test that proved the point (described in this short video).

On December 28, the ILC opened two inciting Facebook pages that mirrored each other in sentiment with just one difference between them.  One page was against Palestinians, and the other page was against Israelis/Jews.  The next day, the ILC started to simultaneously upload inciting posts, with the only difference between them being the target of the incitement.

After several posts, the ILC increased the level of incitement, calling for death to Jews on one page and death to Arabs on the other.  They continued to upload incendiary posts simultaneously on each page, with identical verbiage except for the targets.

Then ILC reported both pages to Facebook.

The result?

Facebook closed the anti-Palestinian page, writing: “We reviewed the page you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it violates our Community Standards.”  The page inciting violence against Jews was not closed by Facebook, who stated that it was not in violation of their rules.

Same content.  Two dramatically different results.

Apparently Facebook’s “community standards” support incitement to murder Jews.

Good to know.

(To learn more about the Israel Law Center, see here and here.)

Update: Facebook has reversed itself.

In an email sent Wednesday afternoon obtained exclusively by this reporter, Facebook rescinded its initial decision that a page that incited hatred and violence against Israelis met “community standards.”

“As you may have noticed, we have now taken down both those pages as we made a mistake earlier,” a Facebook spokesperson explained in the email.

The two referenced pages are “Stop Palestinians” and “Stop Israelis.” Both pages were set up by Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center as a test to determine how much hateful and violent incitement is tolerated on the social media website. The civil rights group was also monitoring how quickly the pages would be taken down.

A Facebook experiment confirmed that despite “Community Standard” rules, Facebook makes decisions that are extremely biased regarding material they allow and material they remove.  At the end of last year, the Israel Law Center (ILC) conducted a test that proved the point (described in this short video).

On December 28, the ILC opened two inciting Facebook pages that mirrored each other in sentiment with just one difference between them.  One page was against Palestinians, and the other page was against Israelis/Jews.  The next day, the ILC started to simultaneously upload inciting posts, with the only difference between them being the target of the incitement.

After several posts, the ILC increased the level of incitement, calling for death to Jews on one page and death to Arabs on the other.  They continued to upload incendiary posts simultaneously on each page, with identical verbiage except for the targets.

Then ILC reported both pages to Facebook.

The result?

Facebook closed the anti-Palestinian page, writing: “We reviewed the page you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it violates our Community Standards.”  The page inciting violence against Jews was not closed by Facebook, who stated that it was not in violation of their rules.

Same content.  Two dramatically different results.

Apparently Facebook’s “community standards” support incitement to murder Jews.

Good to know.

(To learn more about the Israel Law Center, see here and here.)

Update: Facebook has reversed itself.

In an email sent Wednesday afternoon obtained exclusively by this reporter, Facebook rescinded its initial decision that a page that incited hatred and violence against Israelis met “community standards.”

“As you may have noticed, we have now taken down both those pages as we made a mistake earlier,” a Facebook spokesperson explained in the email.

The two referenced pages are “Stop Palestinians” and “Stop Israelis.” Both pages were set up by Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center as a test to determine how much hateful and violent incitement is tolerated on the social media website. The civil rights group was also monitoring how quickly the pages would be taken down.