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‘Secret police’ chasing information leakers at Facebook: Report

James Damore stopped using his personal Gmail account after being fired, said the report

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook needs to fix itself. Pixabay
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  • Mark Zuckerberg has deployed secret police
  • The purpose is to catch the secret-leakers of the company
  • Employees will be under strict scrutiny

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly deployed “secret police” to catch and punish information leakers at his company.

According to a report in The Guardian, an unnamed employee was called to a meeting in 2017 under the guise of a promotion. However, he found himself face to face with the secretive “rat-catching” team led by Sonya Ahuja, the company’s head of investigations.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken this step. AFP
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken this step. AFP

The team had records of screenshots he had taken, links he had clicked or hovered over. The “secret police” also accessed chats between him and a journalist dating back to before he joined the company.

“It’s horrifying how much they know. You go into Facebook and it has this warm, fuzzy feeling of ‘we’re changing the world’ and ‘we care about things’.

Also Read: Facebook, YouTube dominate social media use in US

“But you get on their bad side and all of a sudden you are face to face with [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg’s secret police,” the employee told The Guardian.

According to the report, Zuckerberg hosts weekly meetings where he shares details of unreleased new products and strategies in front of thousands of employees.

. A lot of information has leaked out of company in past some time. Pixabay

“When you first get to Facebook you are shocked at the level of transparency. You are trusted with a lot of stuff you don’t need access to,” the employee was quoted as saying. During one of Zuckerberg’s weekly meetings in 2015, said the report, he had warned employees: “We’re going to find the leaker, and we’re going to fire them.”

According to a Facebook spokesperson, “companies routinely use business records in workplace investigations, and we are no exception”. Not just Facebook, James Damore, the software engineer who was fired from Google after writing a controversial anti-diversity memo, “suspects he was being monitored by the company during his final days”. James Damore stopped using his personal Gmail account after being fired, said the report. IANS

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Job Seeking Women Sue Facebook For Posting Job Ads Just For Men

It's important to note that online platforms like Facebook are generally not liable for content published by others

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Facebook faces lawsuit for hiding job ads from women. Pixabay

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing Facebook on behalf of three women job seekers who accused the social media giant of posting ads that are shown only to men.

The ACLU, along with the Communications Workers of America and the employment law firm Outten & Golden LLP, on Tuesday filed charges with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Facebook.

The women job seekers accused Facebook for targeting ads for jobs in male-dominated fields to younger male Facebook users only — excluding all women and non-binary individuals, as well as older male users.

“The case is brought on behalf of three job seekers and the Communications Workers of America, on behalf of a proposed class of millions of job applicants. It alleges that these job advertising practices violate federal civil rights laws prohibiting sex and age discrimination in employment,” Galen Sherwin from ACLU Women’s Rights Project wrote in a blog post.

Facebook requires users to identify their sex in the binary categories of male or female in order to even open an account.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

“While users can later change their sex designation and select from among a few dozen options to describe their gender identity, Facebook still requires users to choose gendered pronouns (male, female, or neutral), which it then offers to advertisers for purposes of gender-based ad targeting.

“Facebook delivers the ad accordingly, including a notice that the user is seeing the ad because of their sex,” the ACLU said.

The lawsuit claimed that Facebook let 10 employers, including a police department, to run advertisements excluding women and nonbinary users.

Facebook responded to the allegations, saying there is no place for discrimination on Facebook.

“It’s strictly prohibited in our policies, and over the past year, we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse,” Download reported, quoting a Facebook spokesperson.

Facebook is “reviewing the complaint and look forward to defending our practices,” the spokesperson added.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

According to the ACLU, Facebook also offers advertisers the ability to use what it calls “Lookalike Targeting,” which allows advertisers to target customers with traits similar to those of their customer base.

It’s important to note that online platforms like Facebook are generally not liable for content published by others.

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“But in this case, Facebook is doing much more than merely publishing content created by others. It has built the architecture for this discriminatory marketing framework, enabled and encouraged advertisers to use it, and delivered the gender-based ads according to employers’ sex-based preferences,” the ACLU emphasised.

Facebook must change its platform to prevent advertisers from exploiting user data for discriminatory purposes, and ensure once and for all that all users, regardless of gender, race, age, or other protected status, are given a fair shake, said the ACLU. (IANS)