Facebook apologized for removing a quote on a Black blogger’s personal page that it mistook as racist, the Daily Beast reported. The social media giant continues to have problems distinguishing hate speech from legitimate protest and commentary.
Here’s part of the quote that was tagged: “Simply put, white women have mastered how to ignore, silence, discount, and violate black, brown, Native and indigenous women, just like white men do to them. And these same white men have also placed Becky on an untouchable pedestal deeming her superior to non-white women.”
That quote is from the book The Becky Code: How to Deal with White Woman Violence by Amplifying Your Joy by Catrice M. Jackson. Facebook removed it from the personal page of Layla Saad, a poet and writer who blogs on Wild Mystic Woman. It’s a site that focuses on race and diversity from the perspective of women of color. Facebook reinstated the quote after realizing its mistake and apologized directly to Saad. The company “processes millions of reports” weekly about violations of the community’s standards, Facebook explained.
Facebook has long been criticized for censoring the posts of Black activists and allowing hate speech from White supremacist groups to slip through unchecked. That was the case with Ijeoma Oluo, a writer who called out racism but was treated by the company like a racist. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed to step up the company’s efforts to silence White Supremacist hate speech and threats of violence after their deadly rally in Charlottesville. However, shortly after that pledge, hate groups were “making little if any effort to conceal their presence on all of the major social networks,” according to Tech Crunch. The hate groups have learned how to spread their message without getting detected.