An internal Facebook test asking users if they thought a status featured hate speech went public by accident Tuesday for a brief amount of time, but it was long enough to incite outrage among some users.
A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed to the Daily News that the company was trying “to understand different types of speech, including speech we thought would not be hate.”
The images showed a yellow icon and an exclamation point and the message: “Does this post contain hate speech?”
The Facebook rep added that a “bug caused it to launch publicly,” but has since been disabled.
Some were furious with what they thought was a new feature, however, arguing the embattled Silicon Valley behemoth was censoring their speech.
“Facebook is censoring my account. Asking if my post contains ‘Hate Speech,'” tweeted conservative activist Brigitte Gabriel. “Give me a break. Opposing Radical Islam is NOT Hate Speech.”
The feature appeared only momentarily for some, but it was enough for them to worry their freedom of speech was getting taken away.
“For a few minutes, people had the opportunity to click ‘yes or no’ on each post,” tweeted @CeciliaRuloph55. “Another way to suppress speech from those that differ from their agenda.”
Still others immediately worried people might misuse the attempt to quell hateful rhetoric.
“Facebook is now asking people if posts on their feed ‘contain hate speech.’ Just imagine how abused this is going to be in a world that believes disagreement is hate?” speculated @SouthernKeeks.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t address the new option in a lengthy post about users’ options to clear history on the social media platform — as the company grapples with the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
But several accounts questioned the feature’s practicality.
“How do you get to define what is or isn’t a hate speech? Who makes that call and what does it mean?” questioned Mohaned Farah. “I’m not quite sure about that functionality.”
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