Facebook (Meta)

Facebook (Meta)

Hate speech

Harassment, Hateful Content, Hate Speech, Bullying, & Threats

Policy Date:

Apr 14, 2022

We believe that people use their voice and connect more freely when they don't feel attacked on the basis of who they are. That is why we don't allow hate speech on Facebook. It creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion, and in some cases may promote offline violence.

We define hate speech as a direct attack against people – rather than concepts or institutions – on the basis of what we call protected characteristics: race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and serious disease. We define attacks as violent or dehumanising speech, harmful stereotypes, statements of inferiority, expressions of contempt, disgust or dismissal, cursing and calls for exclusion or segregation. We also prohibit the use of harmful stereotypes, which we define as dehumanising comparisons that have historically been used to attack, intimidate or exclude specific groups, and that are often linked with offline violence. We consider age a protected characteristic when referenced along with another protected characteristic. We also protect refugees, migrants, immigrants and asylum seekers from the most severe attacks, though we do allow commentary and criticism of immigration policies. Similarly, we provide some protections for characteristics such as occupation, when they're referenced along with a protected characteristic. Sometimes, based on local nuance, we consider certain words or phrases as code words for PC groups.

We recognise that people sometimes share content that includes someone else's hate speech to condemn it or raise awareness. In other cases, speech that might otherwise violate our standards can be used self-referentially or in an empowering way. Our policies are designed to allow room for these types of speech, but we require people to clearly indicate their intent. If the intention is unclear, we may remove content.

Learn more about our approach to hate speech.

Do not post:
Tier 1

Content targeting a person or group of people (including all groups except those who are considered non-protected groups described as having carried out violent crimes or sexual offences or representing less than half of a group) on the basis of their aforementioned protected characteristic(s) or immigration status with:

Violent speech or support in written or visual form
Dehumanising speech or imagery in the form of comparisons, generalisations or unqualified behavioural statements (in written or visual form) to or about:
Insects.
Animals that are culturally perceived as intellectually or physically inferior.
Filth, bacteria, disease and faeces.
Sexual predator.
Subhumanity.
Violent and sexual criminals
Other criminals (including, but not limited to, "thieves", "bank robbers" or saying "All [protected characteristic or quasi-protected characteristic] are 'criminals'").
Statements denying existence.
Mocking the concept, events or victims of hate crimes, even if no real person is depicted in an image.
Designated dehumanising comparisons, generalisations or behavioural statements (in written or visual form) that include:
Black people and apes or ape-like creatures.
Black people and farm equipment.
Caricatures of Black people in the form of blackface.
Jewish people and rats.
Jewish people running the world or controlling major institutions such as media networks, the economy or the government.
Denying or distorting information about the Holocaust.
Muslim people and pigs.
Muslim person and sexual relations with goats or pigs.
Mexican people and worm-like creatures.
Women as household objects or referring to women as property or "objects".
Transgender or non-binary people referred to as "it".
Dalits, scheduled caste or "lower caste" people as menial labourers.
Tier 2

Content targeting a person or group of people on the basis of their protected characteristic(s) with:

Generalisations that state inferiority (in written or visual form) in the following ways:
Physical deficiencies are defined as those about:
Hygiene, including, but not limited to: filthy, dirty, smelly.
Physical appearance, including, but not limited to: ugly, hideous.
Mental deficiencies are defined as those about:
Intellectual capacity, including, but not limited to: dumb, stupid, idiots.
Education, including, but not limited to: illiterate, uneducated.
Mental health, including, but not limited to: mentally ill, retarded, crazy, insane.
Moral deficiencies are defined as those about:
Character traits culturally perceived as negative, including, but not limited to: coward, liar, arrogant, ignorant.
Derogatory terms related to sexual activity, including, but not limited to: whore, slut, perverts.
Other statements of inferiority, which we define as:
Expressions about being less than adequate, including, but not limited to: worthless, useless.
Expressions about being better/worse than another protected characteristic, including, but not limited to: "I believe that males are superior to females."
Expressions about deviating from the norm, including, but not limited to: freaks, abnormal.
Expressions of contempt (in written or visual form), which we define as:
Self-admission to intolerance on the basis of protected characteristics, including, but not limited to: homophobic, islamophobic, racist.
Expressions that a protected characteristic shouldn't exist.
Expressions of hate, including, but not limited to: despise, hate.
Expressions of dismissal, including, but not limited to: don't respect, don't like, don't care for
Expressions of disgust (in written or visual form), which we define as:
Expressions suggesting that the target causes sickness, including, but not limited to: vomit, throw up.
Expressions of repulsion or distaste, including, but not limited to: vile, disgusting, yuck.
Cursing, except certain gender-based cursing in a romantic break-up context, defined as:
Referring to the target as genitalia or anus, including, but not limited to: cunt, dick, asshole.
Profane terms or phrases with the intent to insult, including, but not limited to: fuck, bitch, motherfucker.
Terms or phrases calling for engagement in sexual activity, or contact with genitalia, anus, faeces or urine, including, but not limited to: suck my dick, kiss my ass, eat shit.
Tier 3

Content targeting a person or group of people on the basis of their protected characteristic(s) with any of the following:

Segregation in the form of calls for action, statements of intent, aspirational or conditional statements, or statements advocating or supporting segregation.
Exclusion in the form of calls for action, statements of intent, aspirational or conditional statements, or statements advocating or supporting, defined as
Explicit exclusion, which means things such as expelling certain groups or saying they are not allowed.
Political exclusion, which means denying the right to political participation.
Economic exclusion, which means denying access to economic entitlements and limiting participation in the labour market.
Social exclusion, which means things such as denying access to spaces (physical and online) and social services, except for gender-based exclusion in health and positive support groups.
Content that describes or negatively targets people with slurs, where slurs are defined as words that are inherently offensive and used as insulting labels for the above characteristics.

For the following Community Standards, we require additional information and/or context to enforce:
Do not post:

Content explicitly providing or offering to provide products or services that aim to change people's sexual orientation or gender identity.
Content attacking concepts, institutions, ideas, practices or beliefs associated with protected characteristics, which are likely to contribute to imminent physical harm, intimidation or discrimination against the people associated with that protected characteristic. Facebook looks at a range of signs to determine whether there is a threat of harm in the content. These include, but are not limited to: content that could incite imminent violence or intimidation; whether there is a period of heightened tension such as an election or ongoing conflict; and whether there is a recent history of violence against the targeted protected group. In some cases, we may also consider whether the speaker is a public figure or occupies a position of authority.
Content targeting a person or group of people on the basis of their protected characteristic(s) with claims that they have or spread the novel coronavirus, are responsible for the existence of the novel coronavirus, are deliberately spreading the novel coronavirus or mocking them for having or experiencing the novel coronavirus.
In certain cases, we will allow content that may otherwise violate the Community Standards when it is determined that the content is satirical. Content will only be allowed if the violating elements of the content are being satirised or attributed to something or someone else in order to mock or criticise them.