Tuesday December 11, 2018
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Facebook Grooming 7,500 Content Reviewers for Objectionable Posts

Facebook said it has a team of four clinical psychologists across three regions who are tasked with designing, delivering and evaluating resiliency programmes for everyone who works with graphic and objectionable content

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Facebook unveils new VR headset 'Oculus Quest'. Pixabay
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After facing ire over reports that its moderators protect far-right activists and under-age accounts, Facebook says it is constantly grooming over 7,500 content reviewers how to handle posts related to hate speeches, terror and child sexual exploitation on its platform.

The content reviewers are a mix of full-time employees, contractors and companies Facebook partners with — covering every time zone and over 50 languages across the world.

“Content review at this size has never been done before. After all, there has never been a platform where so many people communicate in so many different languages across so many different countries and cultures. We recognise the enormity of this challenge and the responsibility we have to get it right,” Ellen Silver, Vice President of Operations at Facebook, wrote in a blog post on Friday.

“Language proficiency is key and it lets us review content around the clock. If something is reported in a language that we don’t support 24/7, we can work with translation companies and other experts who can help us understand local context and language to assist in reviewing it,” Silver added.

The company came under heavy criticism Channel 4 Dispatches — a documentary series — sent an undercover reporter to work as a content moderator in a Dublin-based Facebook contractor.

It showed that moderators at Facebook were 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 raised important questions about their policies and processes.

Facebook said it audits a sample of reviewer decisions each week to find out if a wrong call was made.
Facebook said it audits a sample of reviewer decisions each week to find out if a wrong call was made. VOA

Facebook has also promised to double the number of people working on its safety and security teams this year to 20,000.

Silver said the company is training its team of content reviewers in three areas — pre-training which includes what to expect on the job; hands-on learning that includes a minimum of 80 hours with a live instructor followed by hands-on practice and ongoing coaching.

“We want to keep personal perspectives and biases out of the equation entirely — so, in theory, two people reviewing the same posts would always make the same decision. Of course, judgments can vary if policies aren’t sufficiently prescriptive.

Facebook said it audits a sample of reviewer decisions each week to find out if a wrong call was made.

Also Read: Facebook Says It Can’t Protect Users Alone Day After Stock Collapses

“Our auditors are even audited on a regular basis. In addition, we have leadership at each office to provide guidance, as well as weekly check-ins with policy experts to answer any questions,” said the social media giant.

Facebook said it has a team of four clinical psychologists across three regions who are tasked with designing, delivering and evaluating resiliency programmes for everyone who works with graphic and objectionable content.

“This group also works with our vendor partners and their dedicated resiliency teams to help build industry standards,” said Silver. (IANS)

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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)