Thursday February 21, 2019
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Facebook Says Fixing Mistakes, After Report Exposes Content Moderation Flaws

Facebook said it does have a process to allow for a second look at certain Pages, Profiles, or pieces of content to make sure it has correctly applied its policies

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Facebook testing 'LOL' app to woo kids, experts wary. Pixabay

Facing ire over reports that it is protecting far-right activists and under-age accounts, Facebook on Wednesday said it takes the mistakes incredibly seriously and is working on to prevent these issues from happening again.

Channel 4 Dispatches — a documentary series that sent an undercover reporter to work as a content moderator in a Dublin-based Facebook contractor, showed that moderators at Facebook are preventing Pages from far-right activists from being deleted even after they violate the rules.

In a blog post, Monika Bickert, Vice President of Global Policy Management at Facebook, said the TV report on Channel 4 in the UK has raised important questions about our policies and processes, including guidance given during training sessions in Dublin.

“It’s clear that some of what is in the programme does not reflect Facebook’s policies or values and falls short of the high standards we expect.

“We take these mistakes incredibly seriously and are grateful to the journalists who brought them to our attention. We have been investigating exactly what happened so we can prevent these issues from happening again,” Bickert wrote.

The documentary also showed that Facebook moderators have turned blind eye to under-age accounts.

“Moderators are told they can only take action to close down the account of a child who clearly looks 10-year-old if the child actually admits in posts they are under-aged,” reports said, citing the documentary.

Facebook said it has immediately required all trainers in Dublin to do a re-training session — and is preparing to do the same globally.

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The documentary also showed that Facebook moderators have turned blind eye to under-age accounts. Pixabay

“We also reviewed the policy questions and enforcement actions that the reporter raised and fixed the mistakes we found,” the Facebook executive said.

In a separate letter written to Nicole Kleeman, Executive Producer at Glasgow-based Firecrest Films who raised the issues with Facebook, Bickert said a review is going on regarding training practices across Facebook contractor teams, including the Dublin-based CPL Resources, the largest moderation centre for UK content.

“In addition, in relation to the content where mistakes were clearly made, we’ve gone back an taken the correct action,” she said.

Facebook had earlier promised to double the number of people working on its safety and security teams this year to 20,000. This includes over 7,500 content reviewers.

The company said it does not allow people under 13 to have a Facebook account.

If a Facebook user is reported to us as being under 13, a reviewer will look at the content on their profile (text and photos) to try to ascertain their age.

Also Read: Facebook Joins Skill India Mission to Train Empower youth

“If they believe the person is under 13, the account will be put on a hold. This means they cannot use Facebook until they provide proof of their age. We are investigating why any reviewers or trainers at CPL would have suggested otherwise,” Bickert said.

Facebook said it does have a process to allow for a second look at certain Pages, Profiles, or pieces of content to make sure it has correctly applied its policies.

“While this process was previously referred to as ‘shield’, or shielded review, we changed the name to ‘Cross Check’ in May to more accurately reflect the process,” the company said. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Interested in Blockchain-based Authentication, Says Mark Zuckerberg

According to The Verge, the risk of further data-sharing scandals is one of the main reasons why Facebook is wary of implementing the change

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Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

You may soon login to Facebook with Blockchain-based authentication, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated.

In a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain late on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said he is “potentially interested” in putting the Facebook login on the Blockchain technology.

“I’m thinking about going back to decentralised or Blockchain authentication. Although I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out but this is around authentication and basically granting access to your information and to different services,” Mark Zuckerberg told Zittrain.

According to him, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps.

Facebook last year promoted one of its senior engineers Evan Cheng as the Director of Engineering at its recently launched Blockchain division.

Earlier in May, Facebook set up a group within the company to explore Blockchain technology and its potential use for the platform, headed by Messenger chief David Marcus.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Media reports also said Facebook was exploring to develop its own cryptocurrency.

Facebook has over 2.3 billion users globally and launching cryptocurrency will allow them make payments using a virtual currency like Bitcoin.

In a statement, Facebook said: “Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of Blockchain technology”.

Also Read- Whatsapp Security Bug Allows iPhone Users Bypass Security Controls

According to The Verge, the risk of further data-sharing scandals is one of the main reasons why Facebook is wary of implementing the change.

“You basically take your information, you store it on some decentralised system and you have the choice of whether to log in different places and you’re not going through an intermediary. There’s a lot of things that I think would be quite attractive about that,” said Mark Zuckerberg. (IANS)