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Leaked Facebook training docs tackle white supremacy, racism

The documents were reportedly part of a push to train moderators on white supremacy in the US following the death of a protester in Charlottesville.

March Against Hate Held In Philadelphia In Wake Of Charlottesville
Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a man drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters following violence at the Unite the Right rally in August 2017.
Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Leaked documents appear to shed more light on how Facebook moderates hate speech, specifically around topics like white supremacy and neo-Nazism.

The documents, which were obtained by Motherboard, were reportedly part of a push to train Facebook moderators about white supremacy in America following the death of a protester in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

CNET is unable to verify whether the documents are real or have been altered. In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson pointed to Facebook's Community Standards. The guidelines, which Facebook publicly released in April, dictate what's acceptable content for the social network's 2.2 billion users to post.

In one of the leaked training slides, Facebook attempts to spell out the distinction between white supremacy, white nationalism and white separatism, according to the Motherboard report Friday. Apparently, praise, support or representation of white nationalism and separatism are allowed on Facebook, but support for white supremacy is not. Facebook says in the training materials it's not always clear-cut.

Another training slide asks whether people can say they're a racist on Facebook. That one's a "no," according to Motherboard. The slide goes on to explain: "By definition, as a racist, you hate on at least one of our characteristics that are protected."

First published May 25, 8:29 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:15 p.m.: Adds response from Facebook.

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