Facebook Banned Part of the Declaration of Independence Because It's 'Hate Speech'

Caleb Tolin | July 5, 2018
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It's been revealed that Facebook has been banning or removing posts with excerpts from the Declaration of Independence because its algorithm has deemed them "hate speech." 

The Vindicator, a local newspaper in Liberty, Tex., posted excerpts of the Declaration of Independence leading up to the Fourth of July. One of their posts were taken down because the social media platform's algorithm found the post to contain hate speech.

The post in question had to do with Part 10 of the Declaration which referred to Native Americans as "merciless Indian savages." 

BBC reports: 

The Liberty County Vindicator had been sharing excerpts from America's founding document to its Facebook page in an attempt to encourage historical literacy among its readers. Part 10 did not appear, with the paper receiving a notice from Facebook saying the post went against its standards on hate speech. Editor Casey Stinnett wrote afterwards of the offending paragraph: 'Perhaps had Thomas Jefferson written it as 'Native Americans at a challenging stage of cultural development' that would have been better. Unfortunately, Jefferson, like most British colonists of his day, did not hold an entirely friendly view of Native Americans.' The newspaper later confirmed that Facebook had had a change of heart and apologised.

Facebook did eventually reach out to The Vindicator and apologized for removing the post and any blocks that may have occurred on their account.

Facebook has about 15,000 employees solely dedicated to screening content with a plan to hire 5,000 more by the end of the year. Apparently none of these content screeners were able to identify the text of one of our most famous founding documents

Facebook recently released their censorship guidelines earlier this year. The document was 27 pages long.

(Cover Photo: U.S. National Archives / Flickr)

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