To celebrate this week’s holiday, The Vindicator, a small newspaper in Texas, posted sections of the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” Yadda, yadda. You get the idea. But a section of the text containing the phrase “Indian Savages” set off Facebook’s hate-speech flags. The post was then temporarily taken down by Facebook, Business Insider reports.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
After The Vindicator ran a story on the censorship, Facebook corrected the mistake. “The post was removed by mistake and restored as soon as we looked into it. We process millions of reports each week, and sometimes we get things wrong,” a Facebook spokesperson said. And honestly, as far as Facebook getting things wrong, this is an ideal “mistake.” I’d far prefer a world where some racist on Facebook isn’t able to post slurs. Even if that means the Declaration of Independence gets caught in the crosshairs. (It was written by a bunch of old white dudes, after all.)
This automated goof is nowhere near as delicious as last Fourth of July when Trump Twitter freaked out after NPR tweeted the Declaration of Independence in 140 character missives. Certain MAGA circles spent the day in NPR’s replies very angry that National Public Radio appeared to be attempting to stir a rebellion among the people. In case you’re also fuzzy on this famous text, now’s as good a time as any to brush up.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of @ replies.