Facebook’s Secret Blacklist of “Dangerous” Groups and People

The differences in demographic composition between Tiers 1 and 3 “Suggests that Facebook – like the U.S. government – considers Muslims to be the most dangerous.” By contrast, Patel pointed out, “Hate groups designated as Anti-Muslim hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center are overwhelmingly absent from Facebook’s lists.”

A Facebook spokesperson categorically denied that Facebook gives extremist right-wing groups in the U.S. special treatment due to their association with mainstream conservative politics.

In the internal materials, Facebook essentially says that users are allowed to speak of Tier 1 entities so long as this speech is neutral or critical, as any commentary considered positive could be construed as “Praise.” Facebook users are barred from doing anything that “Seeks to make others think more positively” or “Legitimize” a Tier 1 dangerous person or group or to “Align oneself” with their cause – all forms of speech considered “Praise.” The materials say, “Statements presented in the form of a fact about the entity’s motives” are acceptable, but anything that “Glorifies the entity through the use of approving adjectives, phrases, imagery, etc” is not.

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