Incident 283: Facebook’s Automated Content Moderation Tool Flagged a Post Containing Parts of the Declaration of Independence as Hate Speech by Mistake

Description: Facebook’s content moderation algorithm was acknowledged by the company to have flagged excerpts of the Declaration of Independence posted by a small newspaper in Texas as hate speech by mistake.


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Alleged: Facebook developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed The Vindicator.

Incident Stats

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Khoa Lam
Facebook has apologized for flagging parts of the Declaration of Independence as hate speech · 2018
  • Facebook has apologized for taking down a post containing excerpts of the Declaration of Independence, saying that it was mistakenly flagged as hate speech.
  • In addition to apologizing, Facebook has restored the post.
  • This is just the lates…


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.