Social Media website Facebook is overhauling its algorithms to detect hate speech against Muslims, Black and LGBRQ community members, hence ending their old ‘Race-blind’ practise. The overhaul, which is known as the WoW Project and is in its early stages, involves re-engineering Facebook’s automated moderation systems to get better at detecting and automatically deleting hateful language that is considered “the worst of the worst,” according to internal documents describing the project obtained by The Washington Post.
Being an international platform, Facebook’s change in policies will have a direct impact not just in America but across the world. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, on multiple platforms, has been vocal about ‘Islamophobia’. By adding Muslims to the group of ‘vulnerable’, Facebook is also appearing as an entity with lesser logic. It is a fact that in a majority of Muslim dominated countries, minorities undergo humiliation due to their religious differences. But Facebook’s logic empowers an Islamist to post anything according to their wishes. Any individual who now criticises Islam or the Islamists in particular now faces the risk of his post being deleted.
Facebook spokeswoman Sally Aldous said “We know that hate speech targeted towards underrepresented groups can be the most harmful, which is why we have focused our technology on finding the hate speech that users and experts tell us is the most serious. Over the past year, we’ve also updated our policies to catch more implicit hate speech, such as content depicting Blackface, stereotypes about Jewish people controlling the world, and banned Holocaust denial.”
The social media giant’s policy change is taking at a time when the entire western world is facing unprecedented Islamic fundamentalism in the region. There is a sudden rise of fear among the common people of a possible Jihadi attack on them. But, as per twitter’s new standards these people will also be clubbed along with Blacks and LGBTQ communities, whose claims of being oppressed are warranted. Blatant misuse of concessions granted by Facebook to a particular community will be visible in the social media spaces in the coming days.