Apparently, racism and hatred are still a thing on Facebook. Just recently, the social media giant removed pages and groups that contain racist, misogynistic, and what can be considered as “sexually graphic” content about Vice President candidate Kamala Harris. 

Thanks to a report, we learn that these pages amassed more than 5,000 members in total. One of them accused Harris of ‘not being black enough for Democrats,’ and she should be deported back to India. The group, day by day, also posted a series of misogynistic and graphically sexual content against the elected candidates. 

Kamala Harris has Indian and Jamaican roots. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, is from Tamil Nadu, India, while her father, Donald Harris, is an American-Jamaican economist and professor. 

During her time as the District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 until 20011, Harris was the first person of color to be elected. If declared as the winner of this national election, she will make history as the first woman, and of color at that, to be vice president of the United States. 

Facebook believes to have taken down over 90 percent of the posts automatically before human moderation, but the truth is still far from the claim. Activists and civil-right groups have criticized the tech giant for taking “little to no effort into detection and enforcement.”

“We are talking about the lowest of low-hanging fruit from a detection perspective. And yet, these escaped Facebook’s notice until flagged by a third party,” said Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters. 

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Facebook’s Effort

The latest report from Facebook’s Civil Rights Audit dated July 2020 reveals that Facebook has made some questionable moves representing ‘significant setbacks for civil rights.’

 A significant concern of harassment on Facebook is at an alarming stake. Sometimes, it is used as a vehicle to orchestrate against users and activists.

Campaigners have noticed that social media’s internal moderation tools do not pick up racism and hate speech for a long time. In some cases, they were even promoted on the platform. 

The report also criticizes Facebook’s lack of transparency of the platform’s penalty system and its consequence for violating the Community Standards. 

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields social media companies, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, from both parties’ lawsuit regarding user-made content. 

Related: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: Former Employee Sues Company for Racial Discrimination

Backfiring Consequences

Simply being racist is not good, but being racist online can be even worse, as we continuously see how powerful media is. 

In another news in Oakland County of Detroit, Michigan, a deputy had been fired following her racist post about Harris. 

Deadline Detroit reported that Deputy Sherry A. Prose posted a racist Halloween decoration and shared it with her 398 friends on Facebook. After the post went viral, she lost her badge and her job. 

Sheriff Mike Bouchard immediately terminated the part-time deputy, and she’s “no longer employed by the Oakland County Sheriff’s office.” Prose had been a part-time deputy since 1994, and it’s shameful that tasteless jokes on Kamala Harris’ skin color were what killed her career. 

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