Whistleblower Fallout: Facebook Highlights Tools That Detect Hate Speech | World news

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New Delhi: As the fallout from the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee’s hearing on consumer protection over whistleblower complaints continues to be felt, social media giant Facebook has released a statement with the aim clarify certain issues raised by former employee Frances Haugen in the complaint filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Facebook’s statement seeks to set the record straight on certain points raised in the whistleblower’s complaint, including the treatment of hate speech, language classifiers or their absence, and how hate speech targets certain communities or communities. religions continue to be the focus of the app as well as content policy updates.

“We ban hate speech and content that incites violence. Over the years, we’ve made significant investments in technology that proactively detects hate speech, before people even report it to us, ”a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement shared with HT.

According to internal documents submitted with Haugen’s complaint, it is believed that only 0.2% of reported hate speech is removed by automated controls put in place to monitor content on the social media platform.

Also Read: Facebook Knows He’s In Trouble As Mark Zuckerberg Picks Up His Battles

The latest clarification follows a lengthy statement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier today. In this, Zuckerberg asserted that the claim that the company puts profits before safety is “just not true.”

The whistleblower’s complaints also raised the issue of language classifiers, who should also be able to verify translations.

Classifiers are automated systems and algorithms designed to detect hate speech in the content of social media posts on Facebook.

The complaint says internal Facebook records show how this issue of lack of Hindi and Bengali classifiers meant that much of the reported content, especially the anti-Muslim narrative, was never processed or reported by non-systems. more. Yet Facebook insists that Bengali and Hindi are among 40 languages ​​in the world that are compatible as classifiers with systems and algorithms that detect content that violates content guidelines.

“We are now using this technology to proactively detect illegal content in Hindi and Bengali, as well as in more than 40 languages ​​around the world. As a result, we have reduced the prevalence of hate speech globally – that is, the amount of content people actually see – on Facebook by almost 50% over the past three quarters and it is now. fell to 0.05% of all content viewed, ”the Facebook spokesperson said.

The company also said it has a team of content reviewers spanning 20 Indian languages, who manually monitor content on Facebook.

In the complaint filed with the US SEC, the whistleblower also said: “Users, groups and pages of RSS (Indian nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamswvak Sangh) promote alarmist and anti-Muslim narratives targeting pro-Hindu populations. with V&I (violence and incitement to violence). ) intention…. “.

Facebook has denied any laxity in enforcing guidelines designed to protect any religion or marginalized group from hate speech.

“As hate speech against marginalized groups, including Muslims, continues to increase around the world, we continue to make progress in enforcement and commit to updating our policies as hate speech is evolving online, ”Facebook said.

HT has contacted the BJP and RSS for their comments. The copy will be updated once they respond.

The social media network, however, has not clarified its position on whistleblower complaints about Facebook’s handling of the duplicate accounts problem. This is known internally as Suma, or Single User Multiple Accounts.

Facebook also did not address the revelations that highlight the categorization India is getting alongside the US presidential elections as well as the elections in Brazil. In 2020, the “Top 3 Policy Priorities” for Facebook are referenced as “Level O includes Brazil, India and the United States”, while Level 1 includes Germany, Indonesia, Iran , Israel and Italy. It is not clear what the Tier 0 priority means in terms of Facebook’s investment in India.


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