Facebook updates hate speech policy, bans racist depictions of Jews and Black people

The company said it changed its standards to "more specifically account for certain kinds of implicit hate speech," including caricatures of Black people in the form of blackface and Jewish people running the world or controlling major institutions such as media networks, the economy or the government.

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Facebook on Tuesday said it updated its hate speech policy to include a ban on images of blackface and anti-Semitic tropes.

The company said it changed its standards to “more specifically account for certain kinds of implicit hate speech,” including caricatures of Black people in the form of blackface and Jewish people running the world or controlling major institutions such as media networks, the economy, or the government.

Blackface is a controversial subject in the Netherlands and Belgium, because of the Christmas tradition of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), a “helper” of Saint Nicholas who is typically played by a white person whose face is backed up. The tradition has been criticized by activist groups for being racist.

Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, who is Belgian, dressed in blackface, for a charity event in 2015 — an act he has not apologized for, according to a report on POLITICO.

The Flemish town of Aalst has also been criticized for racist depictions of Jews during its annual festival.

In its report on Tuesday, Facebook said it took action against 22.5 million pieces of content containing hate speech between April and June, a leap from the 9.6 million pieces of content it similarly admonished during the first three months of the year. Facebook did not say if the actions referred to post removals, warning labels, or other measures.

Black men are not primates; we are sorry, Facebook apologizes

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