Facebook’s Slow Response To Enforcing Its Own Rules

By Kenneth White

In Sri Lanka where ethnic tensions run deep, the government blocked access to Facebook last month amid a wave of violence against Muslims. For years Facebook had ignored calls by both civil society groups and the government to control ethno-nationalist accounts spreading hate speech and inciting violence. According to Facebook’s own guidelines, hate speech is not allowed.

ProPrublica reported that, in querying Facebook on 49 posts that might be deemed offensive, Facebook acknowledged its content reviewers had made the wrong call on 22 of them.

Mark Zuckerberg spoke to senators this week in Washington D.C. and said “One of my greatest regrets in running the company is that we were slow in identifying the Russian information operations in 2016”.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Zuckerberg clarified ““We were looking for different issues,” he said. “But we were slow in identifying this new kind of attack, and we need to get ahead of that in the future.” He also laid out two new steps that Facebook has implemented, one around proving the identity of an ad buyer, and the second a way for ad recipients to view information about an ad.

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