A look at Facebook’s ‘hate & harassment’ triage

By Anne Collier

This will give parents an idea of what’s involved in keeping things civil in a site with 500 million+ members: Facebook’s “hate and harassment team,” which is “part of a virtual police squad charged with taking down content that is illegal or violates [the site’s] terms of service,” handles about 2 million abuse reports a week, the New York Times reports. Facebook took writer Miguel Helft behind the scenes to see what’s involved. You’ll see that it’s complicated, and Facebook “rarely pleases everyone. Any piece of content — a photograph, video, page or even a message between two individuals — could offend somebody. Decisions by the company not to remove material related to Holocaust denial or pages critical of Islam and other religions, for example, have annoyed advocacy groups and prompted some foreign governments to temporarily block the site.” Now I’d like to see Helft or Jan Hoffman, whose article about cyberbullying recently appeared on the Times’s front page (which I wrote about here) zoom in on how Facebook’s anti-hate team deals with abuse reports about peer harassment and cyberbullying!

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