Can Someone Explain How This Is “Hate Speech?”

Professor Eugene Volokh over on the Volokh Conspiracy brings to light this tale of Facebook declaring something to be “hate speech.”

A user had his account locked down for 30 days because he posted this:

Facebook deemed the image / meme “hate speech.”

Why exactly is that “hate speech”? I posed the question to some law professors. Some thought it was because it was “blatant misogyny,” because of the word “bitch” or perhaps the phrase “bitch slap.” Someone added that the “grow a pair of balls” may be further evidence of “misogyny.” (I’m skeptical of that theory, but this is what I was told.) The Facebook “hate speech” policy gives “bitch” as an example of a word that’s forbidden, though only when “targeting a person or group of people on the basis of their protected characteristic(s),” and it’s pretty clear that this meme doesn’t target people based on sex.

Someone else suggested that it might be “direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics,” namely “national origin”—i.e., Americans.

Facebook is a private company and can delete what they want, but to label this as “hate speech” is absurd.

Facebook has a little “quiz” that people can take to determine what is acceptable on their site and what is not. The user is asked to determine whether posts would or would not be allowed on the site. First out of the gate is this post and the answer that the post would be allowed because “context matters.”

We’re pretty sure that George Washington, who died in 1799 is not rising from the dead to come back and slap anyone. At best, Washington coming back from the dead is fiction – just like the post above concerning “Game of Thrones.”

Therefore, where is the context that would make the meme “hate speech?”

Facebook’s decision in this and other cases is arbitrary to say the least. As we said, they have the right to remove content as they see fit, but people should stop thinking that Facebook is a neutral judge of content.

Then again, we guess that in the Facebook world, saying “Facebook is not neutral” would be considered “hate speech” by Facebook itself.

One Response to “Can Someone Explain How This Is “Hate Speech?””

  1. Luke Warm says:

    I just watched the movie called “the social dilemma” ( a little slow but interesting information). The one quote I liked regarding these free social media platforms was “if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product”. Companies like Facebook and others are private companies that profit by selling their ability to nudge or manipulate people’s thoughts and behaviors. One method they use to do that is by banning some things as hate speech, sounds good but it just throttles speech they don’t like, if you have to go through the process of trying to clear your post enough times you’ll eventually give up (hence, your behavior has been manipulated to their way of thinking). They do provide some good things, but it comes at a cost. Since they are making money selling this ability to manipulate your behavior the only way to stop it is for users to wise up and delete their face book accounts or for someone to step in and start regulating them. What’s really scary is that Facebook accounts have become popular with just about every government organization from the military to local city/county governments. I deleted my Facebook account a while back and I still get by okay. Watch the movie if you want to understand how you are being manipulated by these so called free social media platforms.

  2. […] Raised On Hoecakes wonders if someone can explain how something is hate speech […]