Facebook threatens widow with ban after posts about knitted woollen pigs breach hate speech rules

Rita Rich-Mulcahy, 81, knitted 73 of the five-inch high wool pigs
An 81-year-old widow was threatened by Facebook with a permanent ban on the site after her posts about knitted "white pigs" broke the rules on hate speech.
After the death of her husband last year, Ms. Rita Rich-Mulcahy, a self-known “porcophile”, set up a Facebook page dedicated to her knitted woolly pigs.
The retired Shropshire teacher, however, drew the ire of Facebook after commenting on "white pigs" on a picture of rabbits and labeling a photo of one of her creations with "high viz pigs".
Facebook deleted both of her posts and threatened to permanently ban her from the "hate speech" website.
Ms. Rich-Mulcahy said, “Facebook is obviously using a bot to crawl Facebook, and I made two completely innocent comments that the bot considered hate speech.
“Everyone on the knitting side and mine knows I'm a porcophile.
"It might be a small thing to most people, but for someone who has never had an overdue library book, it was scary to be charged with hate speech," she added.
Facebook has since restored the two posts and apologized for their overzealous actions.
Ms. Rich-Mulcahy, who lives in an old people's home in Adelaide, South Australia, had joined a knitting group on Facebook to deal with the death of her husband John in 2020.
So far, she has knitted 73 of the planned 100 five-inch high woolen pigs and given them names like Pigcasso, Francis Bacon, and Hamlet.
She plans to work with the woolly pigs to raise money for The Smith Family, a charity that helps disadvantaged Australian children create a better future through education.
In a statement, Facebook said, “Our systems made a mistake here and comments have now been resumed. We sometimes make mistakes when reviewing content, which is why we give people the opportunity to appeal our decisions. "

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