Facebook’s Secret “Dangerous Organizations and Individuals” List Creates Problems for the Company—and Its Users

Along with the trove of “Facebook Papers” recently leaked to press outlets was a document that Facebook has, until now, kept intentionally secret: its list of “Dangerous Organizations and Individuals.” This list comprises supposed terrorist groups, hate groups, criminal groups, and individuals associated with each, and is used to filter and remove speech on the platform. We’re glad to have transparency into the document now, but as The Intercept recently reported, and as Facebook likely expected, seeing the list raises alarm bells for free speech activists and people around the world who are put into difficult, if not impossible, positions when it comes to discussing individuals or organizations that may play major roles in their government, for better or for worse. 

While the list included many of the usual suspects, it also contained a number of charities and hospitals, as well as several musical groups, some of whom were likely surprised to find themselves lumped together with state-designated terrorist organizations. The leaked document demonstrated the opaque and seemingly arbitrary nature of Facebook’s rulemaking.

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