Facebook Files: new revelations plague network

Whistleblower Frances Haugen has leaked internal documents from Facebook that testify to persistent problems including algorithms that favour polarising posts and huge deficiencies in the moderation of hate comments, especially outside the US. Above all, according to the documents, Facebook has been aware of all this for a long time. At the beginning of October Haugen testified before the US Senate. This Monday she appeared before British MPs.

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Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Apply media laws to social media

Facebook is a global threat, writes Tages-Anzeiger:

“It gets really scary when you realise that Facebook is practically the only source of information for millions and millions of people in the world. For many, the platform comes pre-installed on every new mobile phone. It is then simply 'the internet'. ... For these people hate and disinformation are a real danger. That's why politics must intervene here with full force. For example, why not make the operators of social media liable for the content they spread, as is the case with traditional media? Then the hate and misinformation would probably really disappear from the sites for the first time.”

Wiener Zeitung (AT) /

Blinded by greed

Facebook is turning a blind eye to the dangerous excesses of its own platform, Wiener Zeitung criticises:

“Facebook employees have been warning the world's biggest social network for years that in view of its rapid growth it was doing too little to combat hate speech and misinformation. ... Facebook thus foments hatred for profit and lives off human stupidity. This is sad, but true. Renaming it will not save the social network. Back taxes and stringent legal restrictions are urgently needed. Politicians must learn to act faster than the online giants.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Only US users are protected

La Repubblica is outraged:

“Facebook has allocated very few resources to filtering violent and extremist content in languages other than English outside the US in recent years. While 87 percent of resources went into preventing fake news and dangerous posts in English, only 13 percent were used for the rest of the world, including Italy. This will again fuel accusations that Facebook is doing nothing about the threats of violence circulating in posts in countries like Myanmar and India, as well as other developing countries plagued by serial killings, ethnically motivated massacres and, in some cases, attempted genocides. According to the files, Facebook was aware of the potential consequences of this approach.”