A WOMAN from Detroit has been temporarily banned from Facebook after she made a joke about men that was deemed to be “hate speech”.
Candace King was slapped with a 24-hour suspension after she commented “why are men so dumb?” in response to a post about nail varnish.
The viral meme suggested that women would notice a difference between two shades of purple polish, while men would not.
Speaking to local media on Saturday, Candace said her response was taken down by the world’s biggest social media platform within seconds.
“I posted on there ‘this is a different color, why are men so stupid’ and then five seconds later, the comment just disappeared and I was like ‘what’s going on’,” she told Fox 2.
She said that she received a message on Friday telling her that what she described as an innocent message had breached the site’s standards.
The comment “did not follow community standards for hate speech”, according to Facebook. Candace’s account was restricted for 24 hours.
“At first I thought it was a joke (and) I’m like ‘yeah right, I’m blocked…what?’,” she told Fox 2. “But it was real, for sure.”
Facebook defines hate speech as a direct attack against people on the basis of what the company calls protected characteristics.
Those characteristics include race, disability, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and sex.
Reasons for a ban include violent or dehumanising speech, harmful stereotypes, statements of inferiority, expressions of contempt, disgust or dismissal, cursing and calls for exclusion or segregation.
Candace claimed that she is not a man-hater and that her comment was meant in jest.
She blamed Facebook’s moderation algorithm for her ban, and suggested that were a person to have reviewed it, they would have understood the context and let it slide.
Facebook uses a combination of artificial intelligence and human moderators to flag and take down hate speech.
“I feel like it’s a comment in jest and maybe if an actual person was reviewing this stuff, it might not. But I think most of it is just with Facebook algorithms,” Candace said.
Her account was restored over the weekend though she has to be careful how she comments in future, as further violations could land her with a longer ban.
“I got the warning that if I do it again, the punishment will be more severe,” Candace said.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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