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New revelations sweep across Facebook



“Facebook has known it has had a human trafficking problem for years. He still hasn’t fully fixed it. “


“On Facebook, the fiasco of moderation in Arabic”

“Facebook again pointed out for hateful content on its networks in India”

“History will not judge us kindly”

“What Facebook knew about how it radicalized users”

In recent days, media from around the world have multiplied the headlines and revelations on the giant of social networks, from tens of thousands of confidential documents, the “Facebook Papers”, obtained by Frances Haugen, former employee of Facebook became a whistleblower.

Mme Haugen, who appeared before a UK parliamentary committee on Monday working on legislation to curb social media companies, accuses his former employer of fueling hatred and extremism online and failing to protect children from harmful content .

Despite all the bad press, Mark Zuckerberg’s company on Monday announced profits of $ 9 billion in the third quarter, 17% more than a year ago.

The Atlantic, Bloomberg, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Associated Press, The world are among the mainstream media that obtained the internal documents, which were first sent to the Wall Street Journal, a month ago, on the practices of the social network. After the revelations surrounding the existence of an internal study on the impact of Instagram on the body image and well-being of young people, other secrets have been unearthed.

Recent revelations

CNN says Facebook has known since 2018 that its platforms were used for human trafficking.

“Things got so bad that in 2019 Apple threatened to remove Facebook and Instagram’s access to the App Store, a platform the social media giant relies on to reach hundreds of millions of people. users every year. Internally, Facebook employees rushed to remove problematic content and make emergency policy changes to avoid what they described as a “potentially serious” consequence for the business, ”it read.

On his side, The world illustrates Facebook’s shortcomings “in terms of moderation of Arabic-language content and its inertia to put an end to it”.

“The Arabic-speaking countries of North Africa and the Middle East are a major market for Facebook, with 220 million active users at the end of 2020 – a good half of the population of the area – making Arabic the third language on the social network, ”recalls the daily.

The New York Times reports problems in India, where Facebook is once again being singled out for hateful content on its platforms.

“With 340 million people using Facebook’s various platforms, India is the company’s largest market,” the newspaper notes.

Facebook’s problems on the subcontinent present an amplified version of the problems it has faced across the world, made worse by a lack of resources and a lack of expertise in India’s 22 officially recognized languages.

Extract from an article in New York Times

Other reports describe a company in internal conflict where data on the damage it causes is plentiful, but which offers few solutions.

Nothing suprising

Asked by Press, Pierre Trudel, professor of law at the University of Montreal and specialist in questions of rights to information, believes that all these revelations are not so surprising.

“These are documents that confirmed what a lot of people were saying,” he explains. Above all, it confirmed that the company had in its possession data, analyzes, which confirmed a number of problems associated with social networks, such as distress linked to body diversity and problems of moderation. “

Mr. Trudel is of the opinion that “it would be wrong to place all the blame on Facebook for these abuses”. “In my opinion,” he said, “it is up to the States to intervene, to legislate and to set guidelines. “

With the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse

What are “Facebook Papers”?

It is a collaborative project between 17 major American media, which analyzed 10,000 pages of confidential documents obtained by whistleblower Frances Haugen, a computer engineer who left Facebook in May. A consortium of European media had access to the same documents. By mutual agreement, the members of these two press groups decided to wait until Friday, October 22 to start broadcasting reports, in order to give all journalists time to analyze the information and obtain answers. from Facebook. More articles should appear in the coming days.

With the Associated Press

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