Buzzfeed’s article, on departing Facebook staff who write ‘badge posts’, wasn’t a surprise; what was a greater surprise was just how long it took for such news to surface.
Badge posts are traditional farewell notes at Facebook, and not everyone has had rosy things to say. One wrote, ‘With so many internal forces propping up the production of hateful and violent content, the task of stopping hate and violence on Facebook starts to feel even more sisyphean than it already is … It also makes it embarrassing to work here’ (original emphasis).
Buzzfeed noted, ‘More stunning, they estimated using the company’s own figures that, even with artificial intelligence and third-party moderators, the company was “deleting less than 5% of all of the hate speech posted to Facebook,”’ a claim that Facebook disputes, despite its points having already been addressed in the badge post:
Thanks for the response. The data scientist's analysis took this difference between views and content into account and argued that their methodology was still sound. I've typed out the full part of their badge post detailing this for you and our readers. Any thoughts? pic.twitter.com/VvgxBYi8fC
— Ryan Mac 🙃 (@RMac18) December 11, 2020
The ones that joined to fix Facebook from the inside have overwhelming evidence that Facebook doesn't actually want to fix its problems, particularly disinformation.
Reality has a leftist bias, so any crackdown on disinformation will disproportionately affect conservatives.
When that happens, Ted Cruz gets angry at Zuck and drags him into the Senate. Plus, Zuck really enjoys the company of far right assholes, and his version of "listening to both sides" boils down to "I meet with Stormfront AND the RNC."https://t.co/7M4UWd0V95
I realize US conservatives feel they are hard done by with Facebook, but I know plenty of liberals who feel the same, and who’ve had posts censored. Even if Silicon Valley leans left, Facebook’s management doesn’t, so I’d go so far as to say right-wing views get more airtime there than left-wing (actually, also right-wing by anyone else’s standards) ones. On Facebook itself, during the few times I visit, I actually see very few conservatives who have complained of having their posts deleted or censored.
That isn’t a reason to shut it down or to break it up, but misinformation, regardless of whom it supports is. Inciting genocide is. Allowing posts to remain that influence someone to commit murder is. Facebook has proved over 15 years-plus that it has no desire to do the right thing, in which case it may well be time for others to step in to do it for them.