Incident 275: Facebook’s Moderation Algorithm Banned Users for Historical Evidence of Slavery

Description: Facebook’s automated content moderation was acknowledged by a company spokesperson to have erroneously censored and banned Australian users from posting an article containing a 1890s photo of Aboriginal men in chains over nudity as historical evidence of slavery in Australia.


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Alleged: Facebook developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed Facebook users sharing photo evidence of slavery and Facebook users.

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Khoa Lam
Facebook Removes Photo Of Aboriginal Men Used To Prove Racism In Australia · 2020

Facebook has removed a photo of aboriginal men used to prove racism in Australia, after claiming the photo included nudity.

The picture was shared online to prove racism had taken place in Australia off the back of the country’s prime minis…

Facebook Blocks, Bans Users for Sharing Article Showing Aboriginal Men in Chains Over Nudity · 2020

The post was made in the context of Australian prime minister Scott Morrison claiming there was no slavery in Australia. Before a day later, he backed up on those comments.

What was is about?

A Facebook user had posted a refutation of the a…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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