Facebook Fixing mistakes for better content moderation

Carla Harmon
July 19, 2018

"If the content is indeed violating it will go", Allan stated.

In the programme, Facebook's vice-president of global policy solutions, Richard Allan, admitted that the investigation had "identified some areas where we have failed" and he apologised.

Retail Excellence has today suspended its partnership with social media giant Facebook after a Channel 4 documentary exposed some of the controversial practises and content moderation within the company.

"First of all I haven't seen the Channel 4 programme - I am in NY - but from what I understand it raises serious questions for the company in respect of its content review process.I expect to get a briefing when I return to Ireland from my officials.so I am not going to expand any further on it but these are very serious reports".

In a blog post, Monika Bickert, Vice President of Global Policy Management at Facebook, said the TV report on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom has raised important questions about our policies and processes, including guidance given during training sessions in Dublin. The episode, set to air Tuesday night, reveals that Facebook allowed pages attached to violent, far-right entities like the Britain First party and activist Tommy Robinson to exist despite clear breaches of site standards.

Facebook said it has made "mistakes", but denied accusations that it seeks to profit from extreme content.

Another explosive comment in the film comes from Roger McNamee, one of the site's earliest investors, who says that extreme content is Facebook's money-making "crack-cocaine". People are debating very sensitive issues on Facebook, including issues like immigration.

In the scenario, trainees were told the video should be "marked as disturbing" (MAD) but not taken down.

The moderator said the video should be ignored because "they're still Muslims but they're immigrants, so that makes them less protected". And that political debate can be entirely legitimate.

Facebook has been struggling to crack down on pirated content for a long time. "Facebook has learned that the people on the extremes are the really valuable ones because one person on either extreme can often provoke 50 or 100 other people and so they want as much extreme content as they can get". When pressed about whether it constituted hate speech, he said it's "right on that line".

The next Retail Excellence-Facebook training course was scheduled to take place next week, while Facebook was also expected to address delegates at Retail Excellence eCommerce Conference in September. "It's all about money at the end of the day".

"We take these mistakes incredibly seriously and are grateful to the journalists who brought them to our attention".

Facebook said it doesn't agree with all the claims in the documentary, but added: "We have been investigating exactly what happened so we can prevent these issues from happening again".

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