Rap singer Lil B received a 30-day suspension on Facebook for violating the social network site’s “hate speech” policy, according to Motherboard on Tuesday.
The rapper shared screenshots of the posts that Facebook used to justify his suspension with reporters. They included the following posts made in response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas:
“White people are the only ones who really love they guns U can tell they are violent people! I don’t live in fear I don’t need a gun – Lil B”
“White people so scared they the reason why guns are a problem if white people put down the gunze we all be safe but nope! They vilent (sic) – Lil B”
— Sarah McLaughlin (@sarahemclaugh) October 11, 2017
This is the first time Lil B’s critical statements about race have been identified by the social media network as “hate speech.” Prior to his latest comments, he posted this on Oct. 2: “Thats why everyone love Tomi Lauren shes a relatable country bumpkin white girl from background with numbers and statistics yehaw [sic].”
On the same day, he posted this, as well: “See the things is white folks are really scared! U no all the white people feel like they are frail blonde gifts from God ! LOL – Lil B”
Neither post has drawn attention from Facebook.
Facebook officials explained to reporters that the decision to ban a user is based on its “race-neutral” policies.
“I think if you were to change ‘white’ to something else, like ‘black people are the problem, they’re so violent’—if you just took a step back and replaced it with anything else, those are the type of things that our hate speech policies are intended to capture and they apply equally to all races,” said Facebook spokesperson Ruchika Budhraja.
A ProPublica report in May revealed the mile-long list of categories and rules Facebook uses to determine what is and isn’t hate speech on its platform. While Facebook works to apply those rules, the company’s classifications have led to complaints of arbitrary judgment.
In October, ProPublica reported that Facebook’s ad platform allowed advertisers to exclude black, Hispanic and Asian Americans from seeing their housing ads. In May, another ProPublica report charged that Facebook’s ad tools let advertisers easily target racist individuals.
Frustrated with the company’s decisions and lack of action on matters regarding race, a coalition of black lawmakers will meet with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to discuss the matter on Thursday.
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