Facebook has started to remove content from the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook group after some users posted comments about killing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Global News reported on January 9th, 2019 that the social media giant said it removed the comments because they violated Facebook’s community standards and that it was continuing to review the group.
The group’s administrators have told its more than 100,000 members to watch their language, telling Global News that the group does not “tolerate this kind of talk, and it will be dealt with.”
Some of the comments included statements like “Trudeau needs to be shot,” “Why hasn’t anyone shot him yet,” “Shoot the mother already.”
The Yellow Vests movement began in France as a form of political protest calling for economic justice reforms.
The movement made its way to Canada where thousands have marched in yellow fluorescent vests protesting the Liberal-led carbon tax, as well as delays in oil pipeline construction.
Protesters have been spotted in cities including Winnipeg, Calgary, Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton and Saskatoon.
On January 8th, one of the group’s members Josue St-Cyr, wrote everyone needs “to watch what they say about Trudeau.” He continued to say that members “might not mean it” when they comment against Trudeau “but the mainstream media will twist the meaning and try to make us look racist and criminal.”
Global News noted that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are aware of the comments.
“We take all threats made against the prime minister very seriously,” an RCMP spokesperson told Global News.
In its online Community Standards guide, Facebook defines hate speech as “a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disability or disease.”
Facebook says it provides “some protections for immigration status” and defines an “attack” as “violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation.”
In May 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told U.S. Congress that the company was looking into how to effectively use artificial intelligence to identify hate speech, but added that the process was very difficult.
Update: 10/01/18 at 6:20pm ET — Facebook says it deleted the Yellow Vests Canada group in “error,” according to Mercedes Stephenson, Global News Ottawa bureau chief. Facebook says the group has been restored.
— Mercedes Stephenson (@MercedesGlobal) January 10, 2019
Source: Global News