Social media giant Facebook is responding to the allegations of Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee and now a whistleblower revealing thousands of internal documents.
It looks like Facebook is responding to the whistleblower’s testimony by trying to change the narrative on hate speech. Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP for Integrity, posted a defense on the company’s anti-hate measures.
In the post, Rosen said that the declining visibility of hate speech on the platform outweighs the mere existence of that content.
Apparently, the hate speech on Facebook has dropped nearly 50% in the past three quarters to 0.05% of content viewed or about 5 views out of every 10,000.
The Facebook executive said that it was”wrong” to make content removals as the only metric. As per Rosen, there are other ways to counter hate, and Facebook had to be “confident” before it can remove any material. That means being extra cautious to avoid removing reasonable content by mistake, limiting the reach of people, pages, and groups that will probably violate its policies.
This kinda makes sense. There are a lot of users saying that Facebook has mistakenly flagged their content as hate speech even if they aren’t.
In Haugen’s testimony, it’s said that the platform can only catch a “very tiny minority” of hate speech and offensive material. That’s still an issue if true, even if only a small fraction of people can ever see it.
Facebook is yet to respond to the other allegations made by the whistleblower. One of them is that Facebook apparently resisted using safer algorithms and other efforts to lessen hateful and divisive interactions on the platform.