Facebook briefly tests feature to identify 'hate speech'

Aaron Brown
May 2, 2018

This differs from the ellipses-menu "feedback" option.

They may be testing other types of speech reporting functions, but it's a might bit curious that the option accidentally published was asking users to report hate speech.

Clicking on "Yes" opened a new window that presented users with more options, labeled as "tests". Curiously, however, the new feature didn't emerge under one of the site's myriad "hamburger" and ellipses drop-down menus, nor did it pop up as a one-time warning at the top of the site after a fresh login.

On Tuesday morning, many users reported seeing a prompt beneath every Facebook post on their News Feed asking if the post contained hate speech.

The "feature" was apparently live for less than half an hour on Tuesday.

In neither case did the new system offer a clickable or expandable explanation of what "hate speech" might entail.

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The "hate speech" question even appears on a user's own posts.

The notifications no longer appear below Facebook posts.

The social media giant is holding its F8 Conference on Tuesday where CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he plans to share how his company is working to "keep people safe". A bug caused it to launch publicly.

Just last month, Zuckerberg testified before Congress on how Facebook will respond to the data scandal involving firm Cambridge Analytica.

But Facebook said it didn't mean to deploy the hate-speech question, calling its appearance the accidental release of an in-house experiment.

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