Facebook’s Leaked Content Moderation Documents Reveal Serious Problems

These guidelines, which are utilized to monitor billions of posts every day, are seemingly filled with numerous openings, biases, and blatant mistakes. The unnamed Facebook employee, who leaked those documents, reportedly feared the social network was using too much power with too little supervision and making too many mistakes.
Even the New York Times reports that an examination of the 1,400 of Facebook’s records showed that there are severe difficulties with not only the instructions, but also how the true moderation is done. Facebook affirmed the authenticity of the documents, but it included that some of these have been updated.

Here are the key takeaways from the story.

According to the NYT report, though Facebook does consult outside teams while picking out the moderation guidelines, they are primarily set by a group of its workers over breakfast meetings every other Tuesday. This employee group largely consists of young engineers and lawyers, that have little to no experience in regions they are deciding recommendations about. The Facebook rules also seem to be composed for English-speaking moderators, who allegedly use Google Translate to read non-English content. Machine translated content can often strip out nuances and context, demonstrating a clear lack of local moderators, who are capable of understanding their own language and neighborhood circumstance.

The moderation files accessed by the publication also showed that they’re often obsolete, lack critical nuance, and at times plain inaccurate. In another scenario, a paperwork error allowed a known extremist set from Myanmar to stay on Facebook for months.
The moderators often find themselves frustrated by the principles and say they don’t make sense at times and even induce them to leave posts dwell, which may end up leading to violence.

“We’ve billions of articles daily, we’re identifying more and more possible violations using our technical systems,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of international policy management, said. “At that scale, even if you’re 99% accurate, you are going to have a great deal of mistakes.”

The moderators, that are actually reviewing the material, stated they don’t have any mechanism to alarm Facebook of any openings in the rules, defects in the process or other dangers.

Seconds to decide
While the real world consequences of the hateful content of Facebook maybe massive, however, the moderators are barely spending moments while determining whether a specific post can remain up or be taken down. The business is supposed to apply over 7,500 moderators globally, many of which are hired by third-party bureaus. These moderators are mostly unskilled employees and work in dull offices in places like Morocco and the Philippines, in contrast to the fancy offices of the social network.

As per the NYT piece, the articles moderators face pressure to review about a million posts per day, meaning that they only have 8 to 10 minutes for every post. The video testimonials may take longer. With this much pressure, the moderators feel overwhelmed, with many burning out in a matter of months.

Political matters
Facebook’s secret rules are extremely extensive and create the business a much more potent judge of global speech than it is known or thought. No other platform in the world has so much reach and so deeply entangled with people’s lifestyles, including the major political issues.

NYT report notes that Facebook is becoming more critical while barring groups, people or posts, which it feels may lead to violence, but in nations where extremism along with the mainstream are becoming dangerously near, the social network’s conclusions wind up regulating what many see as political speech.

The website reportedly asked moderators from June to allow posts praising Taliban when they included details in their ceasefire with the Afghan government. Similarly, the business led moderators to actively remove any posts wrongly accusing an Israeli soldier of murdering a Palestinian medic.

Around Pakistan elections, the business asked the moderators to extra scrutiny to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam while treating Jamaat-e-Islami as benign, even though both are religious parties.

These cases show the power Facebook owns in driving the dialogue and with everything going on in the background, the consumers are not even conscious of those motions.

Little oversight and growth issues
With moderation largely happening in third party offices, Facebook has little visibility into the genuine day-to-day moderations and that can sometimes result in corner-cutting and other troubles.

1 moderator revealed an office-wide rule to approve any articles if nobody available is available to see the particular language. Facebook asserts that this is against their rules and blamed the outside businesses. The company also says that moderators are given enough time to review content and they don’t have any aims, however it doesn’t have any real way to apply these practices. Considering that the third-party organizations are left to authorities, the business has sometimes fought to restrain them.

1 other big problem that Facebook faces while controlling the hateful and inflammatory speech on its own platform is the business itself. The organization’s own algorithms emphasize content that is most provocative, which could occasionally overlap with the kind of content it’s hoping to avoid promoting. The company’s growth ambitions also force it to avoid accepting unpopular choice or things which can place it into legal disputes.


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