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Facebook Uses AI to Find Profiles of Dead Friends so that People don’t Receive Birthday Reminders

The company made the changes in response to users' experiences with seeing their loved ones' profiles pop up on Facebook after they had died

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FILE- The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square, In this March 29, 2018. A report says Facebook and the FTC are negotiating a "multibillion dollar" fine for the social network's privacy lapses. VOA

Facebook says it will use artificial intelligence to help find profiles of people who have died so their friends and family members won’t get, for instance, painful reminders about their birthdays.

The social network said Tuesday that it is also adding a “tributes” section to accounts that have been memorialized, that is, designated as belonging to someone who has died. Friends and family members will be able to write posts and share photos in this section to remember their loved one.

Facebook is also tightening its rules around who can memorialize an account. Until now, anyone could do this by sending the company proof that someone had died, such an obituary. Now, it will have to be a friend or family member.

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Friends and family members will be able to write posts and share photos in this section to remember their loved one. Pixabay

The company made the changes in response to users’ experiences with seeing their loved ones’ profiles pop up on Facebook after they had died. Sometimes, the company said people might not be ready to memorialize a person’s profile immediately after their death — it can feel like a big step they are not ready to take. Facebook says it will use AI to prevent that profile from showing up in places it might cause distress, such as in birthday reminders.

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Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, whose husband died unexpectedly in 2015, is one of those users. She said seeing tributes to her late husband on Facebook have helped her cope with her grief.

“I want his memory to stay alive,” she said. “Remember specific and wonderful things.” (VOA)

Next Story

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.

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“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)