Facebook apologises after probe reveals string of mistakes by moderators


San Francisco, Dec 30: Facebook has apologised after an investigation revealed inconsistencies by moderators in removing hate speech reported by the social network’s users.

The probe reported by ProPublica this week showed that in one case Facebook censors, called content reviewers, approved a picture of a corpse with the statement “the only good muslim is a f…… dead one” was while another post stating “death to the Muslims!!!” was removed, news agency IANS quoted.

In an analysis of 900 posts, the US-based non-profit investigative newsroom discovered that content reviewers at Facebook often make different calls on items with similar content, and do not always abide by the company’s guidelines.

The posts were submitted to ProPublica as part of a crowd-sourced investigation into how facebook implements its hate-speech rules.

ProPublica asked Facebook to explain its decisions on a sample of 49 items.

People who submitted these items maintained that Facebook censors had erred, mostly by failing to remove offensive posts and in some cases by deleting legitimate expression.

Facebook admitted that its reviewers had made a mistake in 22 cases, but Social Media giant also defended its rulings in 19 instances.

In six cases, Facebook stated that the users had not flagged the content correctly, or the author had deleted it. In the remaining two cases, social media titan said it did not have enough information to respond.

“We’re sorry for the mistakes we have made… They do not reflect the community we want to help build,” Facebook Vice President Justin Osofsky was quoted as saying by ProPublica.

“We must do better,” he added.


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