In the intercept, Sam Biddle reveals Facebook’s whispered secret blacklist: people and organizations banned from the site. The list “disproportionately punishes some communities” and includes “politicians, writers, charities, hospitals, hundreds of musical acts and long-dead historical figures.” Facebook has been repeatedly invited to publish it, including by its own supervisory board, but it refuses to do so.
The Intercept has reviewed a snapshot of GOD’s full list and today publishes a reproduction of the material in its entirety, with only minor revisions and changes to improve clarity. He is also publishing a set of associated political documents, created to help moderators decide which posts to delete and which users to punish.
“Facebook puts users in a near-impossible position by telling them they can’t post about dangerous individuals and groups, but then refusing to publicly identify those it considers dangerous,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice. and National Security Program, which reviewed the material.
Facebook, for its part, says it doesn’t want to post hate groups and terrorists and doesn’t even want to tip them off. Fairly reasonable …
Although the experts who reviewed the material claim that Facebook’s policy is unduly obscure and punitive towards users, it is nonetheless a reflection of a real dilemma the company faces. After the Myanmar genocide, the company recognized that it had become perhaps the most powerful system ever assembled for the global algorithmic distribution of incitement to violence.
… but as Biddle points out, attention to Islamists and the left translates into predictable prejudices.