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follow Patrick 2018 Jul 6, 3:24pm
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The website told a local newspaper they violated its community guidelines by posting the original document ...In the run-up to the Fourth of July, the Liberty Country Vindicator, a small local newspaper in Texas, posted sections of the declaration of the independence to its Facebook page, in a bid to encourage discussion of US history among its readership.What must have seemed like a benign social media strategy managed to fall foul of Facebook’s algorithmic censors, which labeled sections of the declaration hate speech and removed the posts.Facebook alerted the Vindicator to let them know that the section of the declaration that includes a reference to “merciless Indian savages” was a violation of their community standards.The declaration’s passage has often been cited as an encapsulation of the dehumanising attitude toward indigenous Americans that the US was founded on. Facebook’s removal of the section arguably put the Vindicator in a position of whitewashing history.Casey Stinnett, the managing editor of the paper, said in a post on the site on Monday that the removal also put them in a “a quandary about whether to continue with posting the final two parts of the declaration … should Facebook find anything in them offensive, the Vindicator could lose its Facebook page”.