- Employees are frustrated with Facebook as racist comments fill Black soccer players’ accounts.
- Employees said the company needs to act faster and “can’t be seen as complicit in this.”
- One employee said they’ve reported so many comments that they are now disabled from doing so.
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Facebook employees are begging the company to take more aggressive action against racist comments on the accounts of English soccer players Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford, according to journalist Ryan Mac.
Mac said on Twitter that Facebook employees told him they have been alerting the company of racist comments for more than 12 hours now. Many of the comments include monkey emojis, according to Mac, and an employee inquired if it’s “possible to remove known racist emojis from comments.”
The company told Insider that a banana or monkey emoji on its own doesn’t necessarily violate the rules, but the context is considered when Facebook reviews content.
The comments also appear to be coming from anonymous and spam accounts that intend to abuse people online, an employee said.
Another employee said they had reported so many racist comments that their personal Instagram account has been disabled from reporting anymore.
“We MUST act faster here,” one employee said, according to Mac.
A Facebook spokesperson told Insider that “we quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules.”
The spokesperson also said, “no one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.”
Other employees said they are confused as to why Facebook didn’t anticipate such racist remarks leading up to the sporting event since they have been a common occurrence throughout the season, according to Mac.
“We get this stream of utter bile every match, and it’s even worse when someone black misses… We really can’t be seen as complicit in this,” one employee said in an internal forum, Mac said.
Insider viewed the comments sections under both Saka and Rashford’s Instagram posts and viewed various racist comments, such as one user who referred to Saka and another as “baboooooons.”
Many users called for the racist hate to stop and expressed support for both players, as well as advised others to report racist comments that they see.
Facebook uses both human moderators and AI to sift through posts. Content moderation has long been Facebook’s Achilles Heel, and public pressure for the company to more heavily police what users post has picked up steam in the last year specifically.
Facebook’s content moderation policies have typically taken center stage in political discourse, especially in regard to former President Donald Trump’s posts, the 2020 presidential election, and the right’s belief that Big Tech censors conservative users.