A mysterious glitch on Facebook asked if every single post was 'hate speech'

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Facebook on Tuesday started to ask some users whether posts on their News Feed contained “hate speech.”
  • It appeared to be a glitch, as the question appeared below every single post on some users’ feeds.
  • Facebook said that it was “an internal test” and that a bug caused it to accidentally launch publicly.

Around 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, people started to notice an odd new question on Facebook.

For every post on some people’s News Feed, Facebook asked whether it contained “hate speech.”

We observed the glitch on one of Business Insider’s accounts. Here’s what it looked like:

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The glitch was resolved before noon, and the question no longer appeared on one News Feed that Business Insider saw.

“This was an internal test we were working on to understand different types of speech, including speech we thought would not be hate,” a Facebook representative told Business Insider. “A bug caused it to launch publicly. It’s been disabled.”

Facebook has struggled with hate speech on its platform. Last week, it published its previously secret guidelines for moderators.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes to one day have artificial-intelligence algorithms handle much of Facebook’s content-moderation needs. AI needs data for training, so users identifying hate speech may be useful in developing those.

Here’s how people on Twitter reacted to the question:



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