Woman blocked from Facebook for hate speech after asking why men are so dumb

·2 min read
Facebook banned a woman for 24 hours for saying “men are dumb” (Getty)
Facebook banned a woman for 24 hours for saying “men are dumb” (Getty)

A woman in Detroit claims Facebook temporarily banned her for “hate speech” after posting a response to a meme saying “men are dumb”.

The incident occurred after the woman, Candace King, made a post on a meme about how men could not see nuance in different shades of purple.

“This is a different colour, why are men so stupid?” Ms King wrote.

Then she was banned.

She spoke with Fox News about her experience.

“At first I thought it was a joke, I'm like 'yeah right I'm blocked ... what?'” she said. “I posted on there 'this is a different colour, why are men so stupid' and then five seconds later, the comment just disappeared and I was like 'what's going on'?”

After making the post, Ms King received a notification from Facebook that she had been suspended for 24 hours because her comment violated Facebook's community standards.

Ms King was justifiably surprised by the speed at which her comment was removed when the social media platform is rife with far worse insults and dangerous content, including far-right extremists and anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists.

Facebook's standards define hate speech as a “direct attack against people” rather than concepts – like a political agenda – or institutions. Comments that attack or present misinformation about “race ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and serious disease” are considered “hate speech” and can be removed.

Ms King believes that Facebook's automated moderation system is likely to blame for her ban. She think if a real person had reviewed her comment, she imagines it would have been left alone.

Normally a user can appeal disciplinary actions on Facebook, but Ms King said when she clicked the link to contest the ruling she was told that “due to Covid ... they don't really have anybody reviewing it”.

Ms King's account was restored on Friday, but she was warned that if she “got the warning that if I do it again, the punishment will be more severe”.

The Independent has contacted Facebook for comment.