Facebook Hate Speech Feature Was Released Accidentally

Some Facebook users were surprised to see "Does this post contain hate speech?" listed under every post on their feed Tuesday, including posts about dogs and memes about the start of May. The message was part of a feature that was activated unintentionally, Facebook confirmed to Newsweek.

"This was an internal test we were working on to understand different types of speech, including speech we thought would not be hate. A bug caused it to launch publicly. It's been disabled," a Facebook spokesperson told Newsweek.

The release of the feature and its removal from the platform happened just a few hours before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was scheduled to take the stage at the F8 developer conference in San Jose, California.

Guy Rosen, the company's vice president of product, tweeted about the glitch. He said the message appeared on posts, regardless of content and added an example of the glitch occurring on a post from Zuckerberg.

Though the feature for reporting hate speech was removed from the site, Facebook already has standards in place for what it considers hate speech. The social media platform defines hate speech as, "Content that attacks people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or disease is not allowed," according to the company's website.

Clear attempts at humor or satire" are allowed, though, according to the somewhat vague guidelines set by the company.

It's unclear whether a finalized version of the feature will roll out to users any time soon.

The feature was revealed after Facebook said it would make changes to the platform following the Cambridge Analytica data breach and Zuckerberg's subsequent Congressional hearing.

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This photo illustration taken on March 22, 2018 shows the Facebook logo on a mobile phone screen in Shanghai. Tuesday, Facebook accidentally rolled a feature out to users that prompted them to report hate speech on the social media platform. Johannes Eisele/Getty Images