Several data scientists have quit their jobs at Facebook following the presidential election over frustration at the company’s unwillingness to crack down on hate speech and misinformation coming from right-leaning pages. In a goodbye note they wrote and shared companywide, as seen by BuzzFeed News, the departing employees specifically said their extensive efforts to put out flames have been meaningless because of Facebook’s, “very apparent interest in propping up actors who are fanning the flames of the very fire we are trying to put out.”
They concluded that, while Facebook has continued developing its automated tools and been successful at reducing violence reports through targeted interventions, it’s never going to be enough so long as the company continues turning a blind eye to hateful content shared by the likes of Trump and right-leaning pages…
Surprise, surprise. Smoke and mirrors are generally sufficient to ease consciences for advertisers…and Zuckerberg. Time will tell if the unruly horde of users will act up and reduce FB profits.
3 thoughts on “FACEBOOK ain’t cracking down on their favorite rightwing bigots”
“Mark Changed The Rules”: How Facebook Went Easy On Alex Jones And Other Right-Wing Figures
Facebook’s rules to combat misinformation and hate speech are subject to the whims and political considerations of its CEO and his policy team leader. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/mark-zuckerberg-joel-kaplan-facebook-alex-jones
“It took Facebook less than two days to shut down the original “Stop the Steal” group but two months for it to realize that the group and its offspring had spawned a “harmful movement” that thrived on the platform and would ultimately lead to violence.
The news comes from a Facebook internal report analyzing the company’s response to the events leading up to and culminating in the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. Reporters at BuzzFeed News obtained the report, titled “Stop the Steal and Patriot Party: The Growth and Mitigation of an Adversarial Harmful Movement” and published the document today after Facebook reportedly began restricting employees’ access to it.” https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/04/it-took-facebook-two-months-to-realize-stop-the-steal-might-turn-violent/
“Facebook Stopped Employees From Reading An Internal Report About Its Role In The Insurrection. You Can Read It Here.” https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/full-facebook-stop-the-steal-internal-report
“…The report, titled “Stop the Steal and Patriot Party: The Growth and Mitigation of an Adversarial Harmful Movement,” provides yet another case study of how relatively small but coordinated groups of people are able to wreak havoc and spread misinformation on the world’s dominant social network. It’s also a sober admission that a company, which recorded more than $29 billion in profit last year, still struggles to track and preempt networks of people seeking to sow discord and undermine liberal democracy in the US and around the world.”
Rick Hasen, Election Law blog April 22, 2021 https://electionlawblog.org/?p=121773
See also April 26, 2021: “…the report is one of the most important analyses of how the insurrectionist effort to overturn a free and fair US presidential election spread across the world’s largest social network — and how Facebook missed critical warning signs. The report examines how the company was caught flat-footed as the Stop the Steal Facebook group supercharged a movement to undermine democracy, and concludes the company was unprepared to stop people from spreading hate and incitement to violence on its platform.” https://electionlawblog.org/?p=121821