News of Note: “Facebook Cracks Down on Hate Speech Posts”

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1. Facebook Cracking Down on Hate Speech Posts Under Mounting Pressure From Activists

“Facebook Says It Failed to Bar Posts With Hate Speech” (New York Times)

“In a blog post, Facebook said its “systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate.” The company said it would review how it dealt with such content, update training for its employees, increase accountability — including requiring that users use their real identities when creating content — and establish more direct lines of communication with women’s groups and other entities. Women’s groups have complained to Facebook about misogynous content in the past, but pressure on the company escalated last week when a collective led by Women, Action and the Media; Laura Bates of the Everyday Sexism Project; and Soraya Chemaly, a writer and activist, published an open letter asking Facebook executives to “ban gender-based hate speech on your site.” – Tanzina Vega

“Under pressure, Facebook targets sexist hate speech” (CNN)

“Under mounting pressure from activists and advertisers, Facebook is ramping up efforts to stamp out hate speech, particularly depictions of violence against women. The move, announced Tuesday, came after a weeklong campaign by women’s groups targeting pages that celebrated or made light of rape, domestic violence and sexual degradation of women. “In recent days, it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate,” Marne Levine, a Facebook vice president in charge of public policy, wrote in a post on the site. “In some cases, content is not being removed as quickly as we want. In other cases, content that should be removed has not been or has been evaluated using outdated criteria. We have been working over the past several months to improve our systems to respond to reports of violations, but the guidelines used by these systems have failed to capture all the content that violates our standards. We need to do better — and we will.” – Doug Gross

“Facebook to Crack Down on Hate Speech Posts” (ABC News)

“Facebook and the outer limits of free speech” (Reuters)

2. “The New Purpose of Marriage” – The Atlantic claims that heterosexuals can learn from homosexual marriage relationships. Colin Hansen critiques Liza Mundy’s The Atlantic article on “The Gay Guide to Wedded Bliss”. (The Gospel Coalition)

3. “Understanding the Times: An Interview with Carl Trueman” – Table Talk’s interview with Carl Trueman (Ligonier Ministries)

“Lack of historic orthodoxy. The evangelical world seems obsessed with “engaging culture” even as the average Christian’s knowledge of the basics of the faith diminishes. You can go to heaven without being able to offer a Christian appreciation of film, art, or music; one cannot go to heaven without knowing who Jesus Christ is and what He has done.” – Carl Trueman’s answer to the question, “What is the real scandal of the evangelical mind?”

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