Facebook: Hate Speech, Fake News & Bias

An audit report  into its own operations and practices that it commissioned has been condemned by Facebook. The two-year audit of Facebook's civil rights record found “serious setbacks” that have marred the social network's progress on matters such as hate speech, misinformation and bias. 

Facebook hired the audit’s leader, former American Civil Liberties Union executive Laura Murphy, in 2018 to assess its performance on vital social issues. Its 100-page report outlines a “seesaw of progress and setbacks” at the company.  

The report says that Facebook has not done enough to fight discrimination on its platform and has made some decisions that were “significant setbacks for civil rights,” according to the audit of the company’s policies and practices and does not 
not have the infrastructure for handling civil rights and for prioritising free expression on its platform over non-discrimination.  

In some decisions, Facebook did not seek civil rights expertise, the auditors said, potentially setting a “terrible” precedent that could affect the November general election and other speech issues.

Facebook has been under pressure for allowing hate speech, misinformation and other content that can go against people’s civil rights to fester on its site. While rivals like Twitter, Snap and Reddit have all taken action in recent weeks to label, downplay or ban such content, Facebook has said it will not do so because it believes in free speech. That has spurred civil rights groups to organise a “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign aimed against the social media company.

Facebook’s executives had previously pointed to the civil rights audit as a sign that the company was seriously grappling with what was on its site.

The report does say that Facebook has made progress on some issues, including increasing hiring of in-house civil rights experts over the past two years. Mr. Zuckerberg had also personally committed to building products that “advance racial justice, but criticises Facebook’s handling of speech, particularly speech from politicians, and the effects on users. The auditors said Facebook had been too willing to exempt politicians from abiding by its rules, allowing them to spread misinformation, harmful and divisive rhetoric, and even calls to violence.

In a series of recommendations, the auditors said Facebook needed to build a more robust civil rights infrastructure. They added that Facebook needed to be consistent in its policies and its enforcement, including “more concrete action and specific commitments to take steps to address concerns about algorithmic bias or discrimination.”

Facebook has pledged to make some commitments in response to the audit. In the report, the company said it would create a role for a senior vice president of civil rights leadership that will report up through the legal department.  Facebook also promised to develop new internal processes that support the civil rights of users, across its product and policy teams.

More than 900 companies have joined an advertising boycott of Facebook to protest its handling of hate speech and misinformation.

Civil rights leaders who met virtually with Zuckerberg and other Facebook leaders expressed skepticism that recommendations from the audit would ever be implemented, noting that past suggestions in previous reports had been overlooked.

New York Times:     ABC News:       Independent:        Facebook

You Might Also Read:

Fake News Promotes Extremism:

« France Begins Suspending Huawei
A Cyber Attack On The UK From China Can Now Be Expected »

Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout

A simple and cost-effective solution to monitor, investigate and analyze data from the web, social media and cyber sources to identify threats and make better security decisions.

Jooble

Jooble

Jooble is a job search aggregator operating in 71 countries worldwide. We simplify the job search process by displaying active job ads from major job boards and career sites across the internet.

Cyber Security Service Supplier Directory

Cyber Security Service Supplier Directory

Free Access: Cyber Security Service Supplier Directory listing 5,000+ specialist service providers.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

MIRACL

MIRACL

MIRACL provides the world’s only single step Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which can replace passwords on 100% of mobiles, desktops or even Smart TVs.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

CYRIN

CYRIN

CYRIN® Cyber Range. Real Tools, Real Attacks, Real Scenarios. See why leading educational institutions and companies in the U.S. have begun to adopt the CYRIN® system.

IT Governance

IT Governance

IT Governance is a leading global provider of information security solutions. Download our free guide and find out how ISO 27001 can help protect your organisation's information.

Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)

Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)

CSIT is a UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) for secure information technologies. Our vision is to be a global innovation hub for cyber security.

CERT.LV

CERT.LV

CERT.LV is the national Computer Emergency Response Team for Latvia.

Teramind

Teramind

Teramind provides a user-centric security approach to monitor employee behavior in order to identify suspicious activity, detect possible threats, monitor efficiency, and ensure industry compliance.

National Cybersecurity Institute (NCI) - Excelsior College

National Cybersecurity Institute (NCI) - Excelsior College

NCI is Excelsior College’s research center dedicated to assisting government, industry, military and academic sectors meet the challenges in cybersecurity policy, technology and education.

FFRI

FFRI

FFRI is committed to research and development of preventing the most advanced cyber-attacks and breaches.

CI-CERT

CI-CERT

CI-CERT is the national Computer Incident Response Team for Cote d'Ivoire.

CyberSwarm

CyberSwarm

CyberSwarm is developing a neuromorphic System-on-a-Chip dedicated to cybersecurity which helps organizations secure communication between connected devices and protect critical business assets.

Elysium Analytics

Elysium Analytics

Elysium Cognitive Security Analytics delivers the latest and most flexible security system to reduce cost and complexity while providing unmatched scalability.