Facebook will start blocking blackface photos

Facebook has updated its algorithms to block blackface photographs, a form of theatrical makeup that is applied to a face to make a caricature of an African American.

Social media policies now explicitly state that such content should be removed if it is used to target or bully people.

The company said it consulted with more than 60 outside experts before making this decision.

“Blackface is a problem that has been around for ten years, so it’s amazing that it’s only now being tackled. We welcome Facebook’s decision. But I’m not entirely sure that these steps are part of a credible strategy to proactively combat this hatred”.

Zubaida Haq, interim director of the Runnymede Trust think tank on racial equality.

Facebook’s rules have long included a ban on hate speech related to race, ethnicity, and religion, among other characteristics. But now they have banned: caricatures of black people in the form of blackface, as well as caricatures of Jews who rule the world or control basic institutions such as media networks, the economy or government.

Similar rules apply to Instagram.

Facebook said it removed 22.5 million hate-speech posts between April and June, up from 9.6 million in the previous quarter.

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