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Facebooks AI tries to stop hate speech

by on07 July 2017

By banning lesbians

Secret guidelines used by social media giant Facebook to censor hate speech have resulted in lesbians being blocked and banned.

The AI can’t understand why lesbians refer to themselves as "dykes" which is also used as a term of abuse.

Liz Waterhouse, who runs the blog listening2lesbians with her partner Lisa Mallett, said they noticed women started being banned this year, with a sharp escalation in June.

Waterhouse has been blocked a number of times for using the term in pro-lesbian ways.

She is worried the social media giant's actions will result in vulnerable minority communities being silenced online.
Waterhouse said the term had evolved from the original pejorative meaning to just being used in everyday conversation by lesbians, about lesbians.

She is not the only one - the Queensland chapter of Mardi Gras staple Dykes on Bikes had their Facebook page banned after years of operation.

President Julz Raven said she was one of the first chapters in Australia to set up a Facebook page, but a couple of years ago it was suddenly deactivated, with a message saying it did not meet the US social media giant's community standards.

Facebook is not helping by refusing to respond to takedown requests.

Last modified on 07 July 2017
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