2019-02-09

Xiaomist Inc.

A former Facebook employee honestly about what is happening in the company

The fight against hate speech, especially in Poland, has many supporters lately. And it is hardly surprising that the escalation of emotions on the background of politics and emigrants has already led us to more than one tragedy. But how to define this "hate speech"?

There is one problem with this hatred. On the one hand, you can not go on with impunity, on the other hand it's very easy to get carried away and pour out the baby with a bath. Former employee of Facebook , Brian Amerige, puts in his letter a bold thesis - "You can not prohibit controversy without destroying the foundations needed to develop new ideas," he writes in a letter published on quillette.com .

The man joined Marek Zuckerberg's team in 2012 to "make the world more open, connected and give people the power to share." And in the first years this policy, in his opinion, was supposed to work.

Trump's entrance storms the order

Everything would change with the arrival of Donald Trump on the political scene. In the Facebook office, people with leftist views were revealed. Electoral posters of Barack Obama appeared on the campus, a wall with slogans like #METO hung on the wall of Seattle office.

The author of the letter, however, writes that it was just the beginning. During the Q & A sessions with Zuckerberg, questions about the future of people supporting Trump began to fall. On the censored, for example, Peter Thiel found himself. Palmer Luckey, the creator of VR Oculus, had less luck. Deposit 10,000 dollars. he had to pay for the job hitting Hillary Clinton.

Amerige tried to save the situation, but he was baptized by his colleagues as a "pestle". He left the company in October 2018. The platform's policy has changed completely over the last six years.

At the beginning, Facebook prohibited the publication of content that called for violence, theft or could directly hit one of the users in the form of, for example, intimidation. However, he was open to offensive and controversial content. Now it has changed. Certain groups of people (blacks, Muslims, etc.) have been given special protection.

"This type of social media policy is dangerous, impractical and unnecessary," says Amerige. That after a while it would be reasonable to add: "Hate is a feeling, and an attempt to formulate a policy that depends on whether the speaker feels hatred is impossible".

Not just Facebook

Example? Amerige describes that when he criticized the work of art installed in Menlo Park he heard from his colleagues that this type of art describes their identity. And that they deserve an apology. Also vice-president Joel Kaplan was forced to lie down. The reason was the participation in the Congressional hearing of Brett Kavanaugh.

The letter of a former Facebook employee goes far beyond what we can find on the platform itself. Sure, the fact that the content we write in the comments, assesses a low-paid teenager somewhere in the Far East can be frustrating. Because, how can he judge the intentions and emotions of the commenter in a few seconds? It's just that we are still talking about one platform here, and the fight against hate speech is beginning to be present in our entire life.

Amerige shows a much wider context. The power of belief does not come from rigorous prohibitions. To understand and confirm in the belief that racism or sexism are bad, a meaningful conversation is needed that shows why this is indeed the case. This, however, is impossible when it becomes offensive to raise the controversial subject.

Otherwise, we bring the society to the level of not-too-clever children who are forbidden to touch the hot oven. Most of them will touch him sooner or later.



A former Facebook employee honestly about what is happening in the company

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