NYT Exposes Facebook’s ‘Biased,’ ‘Error-prone,’ Hate Speech Guidelines

NewsBusters | 12/28/2018 | Staff
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Facebook’s massive hate speech policies were blasted by The New York Times Thursday. The Times detailed Facebook’s current hate-speech failsafe controls as essentially “a network of workers using a maze of Powerpoint slides spelling out what’s forbidden.”

If that sounds like a shoddy and unsuccessful solution to a way of monitoring free speech, that was NYT’s point. After being given access to “1,400 pages from the [hate speech] rulebook by an employee who said he feared that the company was exercising too much power,” the Times found that the rules contained “numerous gaps, biases, and outright errors.”

Tech - Giant - Anything

As 2018 ends, it’s starting to sound like the tech giant can’t do anything right.

The “speech policies” included a lot to worry conservatives. They are curated by a group of “several dozen Facebook employees,” who discuss rules for what the site’s 2 billion users should be allowed to say.

Times - Rules - Moderators - Consisting - Dozens

The Times described the rules enforced by the moderators as consisting of “dozens of unorganized PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets with bureaucratic titles like “Western Balkans Hate Orgs and Figures” and “Credible Violence: Implementation standards.” It’s just a heavy dose of rules that moderators — many of whom don’t speak multiple languages nor understand the geopolitical implications of the part of the world in which they police — have to consult when dealing with thousands of posts a day.

The Times wrote how Facebook is overwhelmed by the weight of it all. “The company’s goal is ambitious: to reduce context-heavy questions that even legal experts might struggle with — when is an idea hateful, when is a rumor dangerous — to one-size-fits-all...
(Excerpt) Read more at: NewsBusters
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