Facebook accidentally asked users if a photo of a cat is hate speech

Written by Patrick Campbell on 3rd May, 2018
Facebook accidentally asked users if a photo of a cat is hate speech

Facebook has had a tumultuous few months recently to say the least. However the social media platform has been making an attempt at gaining back the trust of it’s users and making the platform a safe space for all.

Overnight users got an accidental sneak peek at a measure the brand was testing. Abby Olheiser – a writer for the Washington Post, noticed the “bug” on a photo of her cat, seeing a question at the bottom of her post.

Is this cat hate speech?

The writer confirmed that her post definitely wasn’t hate speech, but noticed the bug was appearing on every post in her newsfeed.

Users responded to the survey in the comments with amusement at the variety of posts that it was appearing on. The question seemed to be below every post – personal, news, meme, and more.

The survey comes after Facebook released it’s internal guidelines on moderating the platform – something that the media giant has long struggled with.

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

Facebook hate speech survey

Facebook currently defines hate speech as “A direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics; race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disability or disease. We also provide some protections for immigration status. We define attack as violent or dehumanising speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation.”

The bug has now been removed from the site and there is no news as to whether it will be rolled out once the bug is fixed.

The article was originally published on Brag Magazine