News & Politics

Facebook Asks on Every Post: 'Is This Hate Speech?'

(Image via Shutterstock)

UPDATE: Scroll to the bottom for Facebook’s response.

On Tuesday, Facebook launched an initiative enabling users to identify “hate speech.”

On virtually every single public post, an option has emerged. “Does this post contain hate speech?” the site asks, giving two options: “Yes” or “No.” Each post also gives the option to dismiss the question with a tiny “x” box to the right of the answers.

The “hate speech” question even appears on a user’s own posts.

a Facebook post by Tyler O'Neil sharing a PJ Media article.

Facebook appears to have applied this policy to everyone’s posts, an equal opportunity “hate speech” identifying project. It shows up on PJ Media:

PJ Media Nancy Pelosi Facebook post

And on National Review:

A National Review post about Hillary Clinton

And on HuffPost:

A Huffington Post Facebook post about Betsy DeVos

It showed up for the LGBT group Human Rights Campaign:

A Human Rights Campaign Facebook screenshot.

And for the Family Research Council.

Family Research Council Alfie Evans screenshot.

Even posts not sharing articles had the “hate speech” identification option.

PJ Media Facebook screenshot

Then, just as suddenly as the “hate speech” identification options appeared, they disappeared on Tuesday morning.

Some did not take kindly to this option. “What the heck Facebook? Why are you asking if I’m committing hate speech?” Joshua Herring, a humanities instructor at Thales Academy and contributor for The Imaginative Conservative and The Federalist, asked.

Joshua Herring on Facebook complaining about being asked if he is engaged in sharing "hate speech."

UPDATE: Facebook’s response.

After the “hate speech” identification options disappeared, a Facebook spokesperson explained the situation to PJ Media.

“This was an internal test we were working on to understand different types of speech, including speech we thought would not be hate,” the spokesperson said. “A bug caused it to launch publicly. It’s been disabled.”