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Under pressure both internally and externally to crack down harder on toxic content, Facebook has rolled out a series of new policies in the last year on everything from hate speech to coronavirus misinformation to foreign election interference.
But a new analysis from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday revealed that Facebook is still failing to enforce those policies consistently, quickly, or sometimes even at all.
Users have the ability to report content on Facebook they believe violates its policies. But of the 150 pieces of such content that The Journal reported this way — and that Facebook later confirmed violated its rules — the company’s review process didn’t take down the content in roughly 25% of cases.
In September, The Wall Street Journal also reported 276 pieces of content for apparently violating Facebook’s rules against promoting or violence or spreading dangerous misinformation, but its content moderation system removed the posts in just 32 cases. After contacting Facebook directly about the remaining 244 posts, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company determined more than 50% of those should also have been removed, and eventually took down many of them.
Facebook spokesperson Sarah Pollack told The Wall Street Journal that its analysis wasn’t reflective of the overall accuracy of its review systems, and that the company’s “priority is removing content based on severity and the potential for it going viral.”
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
While around 50% of reported content was reviewed by Facebook’s systems within 24 hours as it initially promised, some posts — including some inciting violence or promoting terrorism — still hadn’t been reviewed as much as two weeks later, according to The Journal.
Pollack told the newspaper that Facebook has become more reliant on AI systems due to the coronavirus pandemic and improving AI technology.
Facebook, Google’s YouTube, and other social media platforms have been eager to bring back moderators into the office after the pandemic forced them to become more reliant on automated systems (as many companies limit them from working from home due to security and privacy concerns).
This is not the first time Facebook encountered scrutiny over the degree to which it’s actually enforcing new policies. Facebook came under fire just a week after rolling out its anti-militia policy when it refused to take action against accounts and groups promoting violence against anti-police-brutality protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin — where a teenager eventually fatally shot two protesters — despite multiple reports from users.
The Wall Street Journal also reported in August that Facebook refused to enforce its hate speech policies in India after a top executive there overruled moderators.
A Facebook whistleblower also penned a memo documenting the company’s pattern of neglecting election disinformation and coordinated attempts to undermine democratic processes around the world, particularly outside of the US and Western Europe BuzzFeed News reported in September.
“It’s an open secret within the civic integrity space that Facebook’s short-term decisions are largely motivated by PR and the potential for negative …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics