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Yet another trove of internal Facebook documents has been leaked, this time the New York Times gained access to 1,400 pages of Facebook’s guidelines for global political speech.
A recent report from the New York Times has provded an insight into how Facebook polices global political speech. A trove of internal Facebook documents obtained by the Times shows how the social media platform is “a far more powerful arbiter of global speech than has been publicly recognized or acknowledged by the company itself.”
Facebook - Employee - Pages - Guidelines - Company
A Facebook employee reportedly leaked 1,400 pages of the internal guidelines because they “feared that the company was exercising too much power, with too little oversight — and making too many mistakes.” The documents reportedly consist of a “maze of PowerPoint slides” outlining rules for a large network of over 7,500 moderators to follow when dealing with political speech on the social media platform. These guidelines are reportedly reviewed every other Tuesday morning by several dozen Facebook employees.
The Times claims that these documents are filled with gaps, biases, and errors that have resulted in moderators allowing extremist speech to flourish in some countries while cracking down harshly on mainstream comments in others. The Times provided an example of this problem:
Moderators - Example - Appeals - Volcano - Victims
Moderators were once told, for example, to remove fund-raising appeals for volcano victims in Indonesia because a co-sponsor of the drive was on Facebook’s internal list of banned groups. In Myanmar, a paperwork error allowed a prominent extremist group, accused of fomenting genocide, to stay on the platform for months. In India, moderators were mistakenly told to take down comments critical of religion.
These guidelines are set by young Facebook engineers and lawyers who attempt to distill complex political situations and statements into simple “yes or no” categories, then Facebook outsources actual moderation to other companies where unskilled workers spend their...
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