Despite a company policy banning hate speech, the social media giant has taken in nearly $1.6 million from hate groups since mid-2018.

Facebook has accepted millions of dollars in advertising fees from hate groups and hate figures despite its anti-hate speech policy, a Sludge review of Facebook ad data finds.

While the social media giant’s Community Standards ban hate speech “because it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence,” the company hosts and profits from pages, some verified, of numerous organizations identified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonpartisan nonprofit that has been tracking and reporting on extremism since the 1970s.

SPLC defines a hate group as an organization that “has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

From May 2018, when Facebook began publishing its archive of political and social advertisements, to September 17, 2019, at least 38 hate groups and hate figures, or their political campaigns, paid Facebook nearly $1.6 million to run 4,921 sponsored ads. Some ads call undocumented immigration an “invasion.” Others claim that LGBTQ people are “evil.”

“This is an astounding amount of money that’s been allowed to be spent by hate groups,” Keegan Hankes, interim research director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, told Sludge. “It reaches a lot of people with some very toxic ideologies. Obviously that’s incredibly worrisome, if not a little unsurprising given Facebook’s track record specifically around these ideologies.”

Close to $960,000 of Facebook ad revenue came from anti-immigrant groups, and $542,000 was spent by anti-LGBTQ groups. Anti-Muslim groups spent close to $70,000 on ads, although plenty of anti-immigrant groups are also anti-Muslim.

Full article by Alex Kotch/Sludge

Posted by The non-Conformist