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Facebook ad Library Failed to Serve its Purpose: Experts

Mozilla researchers managed to download the information they needed on only two days (worth of ads) in a six-week span because of bugs and technical issues

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FILE - Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

Researchers and experts have slammed Facebook for making its Ad Library — meant to bring a new level of transparency to online ad buys — riddled with errors and technical glitches that make it virtually unusable.

In a statement shared with IANS, US-based non-profit organization said on Saturday that it is disheartening to hear that Facebook’s Ad Library has been hobbled by technical limitations and errors.

“While we commended Facebook in March for establishing the database, we noted back then that the company needed to take additional steps to ensure the Ad Library was both comprehensive and effective”, said Summer Lopez, senior director of Free Expression Programmes.

“Unfortunately, it seems the Library has instead failed to serve even its basic purpose as a research tool,” she added.

The New York Times this week reported that Facebook’s Ad Archive does not meet even the barest needs of researchers and data journalists.

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FILE – The entrance sign to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Oct. 10, 2018. VOA

The product failed in ways that would be humiliating for a company the fraction of Facebook’s size, said the report.

With each search limited to 2,000 results, the researchers needed to do 1,900 searches to collect all the data from Facebook Ad Library.

Also Read: Twitter Revenue up 18%, Users Grow in Q2

Mozilla researchers managed to download the information they needed on only two days (worth of ads) in a six-week span because of bugs and technical issues.

“Facebook has become one of the most important social forums of the 21st century. This means that people deserve to know what ads are appearing on the platform, whom these ads are targeting, and where they appear,” said Lopez. (IANS)

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Content Moderators on Facebook and YouTube Asked to Sign PTSD Forms

Content moderators at Facebook and YouTube in Europe and in the US have been asked to sign PTSD forms

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Content moderators at Facebook and YouTube in Europe and in the US have been asked to sign forms detailing that the job may cause post-traumatic stress disorder. Pixabay

Content moderators at Facebook and YouTube in Europe and in the US have been asked to sign forms detailing that the job may cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to The Financial Times and The Verge, global professional services firm Accenture which provides content moderators for big tech firms have asked them to sign a form, explicitly acknowledging that their job could cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

Accenture runs at least three content moderation sites for Facebook in Europe, including in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin. A similar document was also provided by Accenture to workers at a YouTube content moderation facility in Austin, Texas. Accenture said the wellbeing of workers was a “top priority”.

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Accenture runs at least three content moderation sites for Facebook in Europe, including in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin. Pixabay

“We regularly update the information we give our people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the work they do,” the company said in a statement.

“According to an employee who signed one of these acknowledgment forms, every moderator at the facility was emailed a link and asked to sign immediately,” the report said.

The Accenture form says workers might review “disturbing” videos and that moderating “such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Both Facebook and Google said they did not review Accenture’s new form.

The Verge’s probe last month into Accenture’s Austin site described hundreds of low-paid immigrants toiling in, removing videos flagged for extreme violence and terrorist content.

Also Read- Tech Giant Apple Becomes One of The Fastest-Growing Brands in India

“The moment they quit Accenture or get fired, they lose access to all mental health services. One former moderator for Google said she was still experiencing symptoms of PTSD two years after leaving,” the report claimed.

Last year, The Verge published a report of Facebook moderators and one of them said he “sleeps with a gun by his side” after doing the job. (IANS)