July 25, 2018
PRIVACY AND FREEDOM
Is the Declaration of Independence Hate Speech?
The “Declaration of Independence” has been called a lot of things: iconic, revolutionary, groundbreaking. But recently, Facebook gave it another descriptor: hate speech.
How could such a fundamental document be labeled hate speech? It all comes back to Facebook’s policy regarding open communication on its site, which many have deemed is cloaked in censorship and bias.
This latest gaffe centers on a series of posts by a local newspaper in Texas. In the days leading up to the Fourth of July, the publication shared excerpts of the “Declaration of Independence,” but ran into a roadblock when it posted paragraphs 27 through 31. Ultimately, the paper’s editor said he believed Facebook picked up on the terms “Indian savages,” which are contained within the document, and banned the entire post on the basis that it “goes against our standards on hate speech.” The social media giant later acknowledged that move as a mistake and restored the post.
However, importantly, we may never know just what the supposed violation was based on, as Facebook doesn’t share such details, raising even more questions about its transparency. The regulation of hate speech appears to be automated—as it is dubious that any actual human would consent to deeming the nation’s founding document as hate speech—but the codes that power that automation should be questioned, as they could be skewed against conservative views.
Facebook has long come under fire for its practice of limiting what users can post, particularly users with conservative views. Conversations about a number of topics have been targeted—religion, the military and foreign affairs, with right-leaning posts bearing the brunt of this approach.
Hate speech on its face shouldn’t be tolerated in social media circles; however, the practice of defining and regulating hate speech needs to be clearly defined and non-biased. Without that guarantee of objectivity, the potential for bias—not to mention, outright mistakes like we saw with the “Declaration of Independence” fiasco—is too great.
Carry on Ronald Reagan's tradition of support for personal freedom and conservative values by signing up for your own Reagan.com email address. Our secure private email service will keep your information and personal communications safe.
Get a Reagan Email Address Today
Would someone point to a specific law that explains the crime of hate speech and who determines what is and what is not considered hate speech. Also please tell everyone if hate speech is a felony or misdemeanor.
The solution is simple. Stop using Facebook. Problem solved.
Blew Facebook away years ago; media was full of crude, lewd trash.
The problem is that "hate speech" is given a definition. The solution would be to expose these outsiders to what the Constitution says about so-called hate speech: It is granted the right of protection from censorship by the government. This is the policy that these private entities should adhere to. There's no need to protect popular speech, since everyone already agrees with it. It is the hated speech that needs protection from being censored.