Facebook Flags Declaration as Hate Speech

The computer algorithm used by Facebook to monitor content flagged an Texas newspaper for hate speech – but the unacceptable material was a verbatim passage from the Declaration of Independence.

A portion deep in the document makes a reference to "Indian savages" – a clearly derogatory term about Native Americans.

The Liberty County Vindicator, however, was running ongoing posts of the complete Declaration of Independence – warts and all – as part of a series tied to Independence Day.

Facebook’s robots blocked the passage and alerted the Vindicator.

So Casey Stinnett, the paper’s managing editor, made a declaration of his own.

He sent in feedback to Facebook – then wrote about the incident.

Facebook relented and apologized – and Thomas Jefferson’s words were again permitted to appear in full on the world’s largest social media network.

Stinnett tells Newsradio 740 KTRH he accepts the apology – but says the incident shows why people, not algorithms, are needed in the fair and accurate dissemination of information.

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