According to TheVerge – “An independent Facebook-commissioned civil rights report discovered that the company’s decision-making mechanism “remains too reactive and inconsistent” to make daily, substantive progress on key concerns plaguing the social media network.”
The stammering approach has hindered Facebook’s own attempts to respond effectively to urgent needs, thereby hurting both its consumers and the community as a whole. As a result, structured hate, false information, voting suppression, and prejudice, among others, persist massive issues for Facebook to tackle.
The 100-page paper, done by a bunch of civil rights lawyers and headed by retired American civil rights Union executive Ms. Laura Murphy, was published by Facebook on Wednesday.
While inspectors applauded the firm for a “set of successful and substantial steps”, they cautioned that further “vexing and heartwrenching decisions” would undo advancement, effectively setting Facebook on the “seesaw of advancement and missteps.”
One example: failure to act on a set of President Donald Trump’s previous tweets in which he described protestors as “THUGS” and then said “looting” contributes to “fire”. Since Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with Trump, the tweets were left up and demanded, despite the facts, that they did not incite violence and thus did not violate the company’s policy.
After the lack of action upon Trump’s comments by Facebook, other elected officials and business owners ran ads with a common meaning, advocating that militarized vigilante citizens shoot “looters” as well as “ANTIFA terrorists. Even if the ads broke the rules of the platform, they also weren’t flagged by the firm and they started receiving more than 200,000 impressions before being brought to Facebook’s awareness and taken away.
The review found that Facebook is “far too hesitant to apply strong laws to prevent misleading information and the repression of votes”, effectively “militarizing” the platform to repress voting.
“With less than 5 months to go before the presidential election,” the study said, “the auditors are uncertain about why Facebook failed to understand the urgency.”
For instance, Trump’s repetitive false claims that mail-in ballot papers are “substantially dishonest” are allowed to continue. (Trump’s own admittance allows voting by mail is “safely and securely”)
The ballot falsity also touches on some other vexing area identified by an audit: the choice by Facebook to exclude politicians from its already lenient fact-checking system.
“Why is it that … Strong politicians will not have to follow the same rules as everyone else does, creating an inequality of speech that favors those voices over less prominent names,” cautioned the study.
Also, accountants raised numerous flags regarding the spread of hateful speech on the site, particularly white nationalists. A study by an advocacy group released in May discovered on the website that such groups are “growing rapidly”.
The Facebook audit encouraged the organization to go further than banning only overt references to white secessionism “to also ban express respect, support, and recognition of white secessionism and white supremacy even where the words themselves haven’t been used.”
“It is profoundly disturbing to privilege free speech above all other principles, such as non – discrimination and equality,” the study stated.