Monday, September 14, 2020

Former Facebook data scientist slams their inconsistent moderation policies


Craig Silverman, Ryan Mac and Pranav Dixit have a scathing article in BuzzfeedNews about a memo written by a former Facebook data analyst, Sophie Zhang, about the content moderation policies affecting non-western countries.

She turned down a severance agreement in order to be able to disclose the problems. But she says she has “blood on her hands” having unbelievable “power” to affect outcomes in unstable countries where authoritarian leaders or trolls manipulate a rather non-literate population. In some countries, Facebook is “the Internet’.

At the same time, Facebook is doubling down on the increasing potential for harm, as with the wildire situation on the West Coast, stopping rumors of how the fires might have been set. (Most start with dry lightning). This also follows their doubling down on obvious trolls and conspiracy theories (“Qanon”, etc). The most factual story I can find on the fires is in the New York Times Sept. 12.  Update:  US News on one of the Oregon fires (Talent). 

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