News & Opinion | July 5, 2018 12:25 pm

Facebook Algorithms Deemed Declaration of Independence Hate Speech

The Liberty County Vindicator received a notice that their post went against "standards on hate speech."

(Getty Images)
Getty Images/EyeEm

The Liberty County Vindicator, a community newspaper near Houston, had been posting small pieces of the Declaration of Independence for nine days on its Facebook page in the run-up to Independence Day.

But on Monday, their post did not go as scheduled. The paper said it received an automated message from Facebook saying the post “goes against our standard on hate speech.” Vindicator managing editor Casey Stinnett wrote that part of the notice included a warning that the newspaper could lose its Facebook account, which the paper depends on for much of its online audience, if there were any more violations.

The passage that was flagged by Facebook’s algorithms was part of the document’s “Bill of Particulars” against Britain’s King George III, reports The Washington Times.

“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions,” the passage reads.