Facebook Fails Review

(Updated 14 September 2012)

OHPI recently reported a number of antisemitic images to Facebook using the regular reporting facility available to all users. Every one of our reports was swiftly reviewed and swiftly rejected. Formal complaints in Australia have let to some of the hateful content being blocked to Australian users, however, the content remains online.

Facebook is making a serious effort to respond faster to complaints, but this is meaningless if the response is to invariably reject the complaints. There is also no appeal and we have no details of any internal review process – if there is one, Facebook is welcome to share details to reassure us. Facebook need to address these problems. You can help by signing the petition to let them know this is not acceptable:

Facebook Must Stop Allowing Hate Speech Petition on Change.org

There is no way of knowing what is going on at Facebook, but three possibilities suggest themselves: (1) Facebook is giving control of the review process to a group of dyed-in-the-wool racists, (2) Facebook review staff are well intentioned but seriously ignorant about hate speech, (3) Facebook as policy is doing everything it can in order to normalise the presence of hate speech on its platform. Either the recruitment process is serious flawed, or the training provided to staff is seriously inadequate, or something is rotten at the core of Facebook.

OHPI believes that these examples are exceedingly clear demonstrations of racism. We call on Facebook to:

1. Remove the offensive images

2. Close the offensive pages they are posting them

3. Permanently close the accounts of the users abusing Facebook to spread such hate

4. Review which staff assessed these examples and audit their decision making

5. Take active measures to improve staff training to avoid similar poor decisions in the future

6. To institute an appeal process as part of the online reporting system

7. To institute systematic random checks of rejected complaints

The following images document items that were reported and rejected by Facebook. The concern here is not simply that this content was on the Facebook platform, but that Facebook staff were not able to identify this as hate even after it had been reported to them.

Item 1: Mocking Holocaust Victims

Item 2: Promoting Blood Libel

Item 3: Denying Jews Human Rights

Item 4: Holocaust Denial

Please feel free to reproduce these images on blogs and other social media platforms so long as they are not altered.

Related content: