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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
  • 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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AI Couldn’t Catch NZ Attack Video Streaming: Facebook

Facebook said it was exploring how AI could help it react faster to this kind of content on a live streamed video

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Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facing flak for failure to block the live broadcast of the New Zealand terrorist attack last week, Facebook on Thursday said that its Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools were not “perfect” to detect the horrific video.

Vowing to improve its technology, the social networking giant, however, ruled out adding a time delay to Facebook Live, similar to the broadcast delay sometimes used by TV stations.

“There are millions of Live broadcasts daily, which means a delay would not help address the problem due to the sheer number of videos,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity, said in a statement.

“More importantly, given the importance of user reports, adding a delay would only further slow down videos getting reported, reviewed and first responders being alerted to provide help on the ground,” Rosen added.

Strapped with a GoPro camera to his head, the gunman broadcast graphic footage of the New Zealand shooting via Facebook Live for 17 minutes, which was later shared in millions on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

Fifty people were killed and dozens injured in the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Avenue Masjid in Christchurch on March 15 after 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant opened indiscriminate firings.

Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

The circulation of the video on social media platforms attracted widespread criticism from different quarters.

In a letter to CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson asked the technology companies to brief the US Congress on March 27 regarding their response to dissemination of the video on their platforms.

Thompson also warned the technology companies that unless they do better in removing violent content, the Congress could consider policies to bar such content on social media.

Also Read- Finland Probing Nokia Phones Sending Data to China

Facebook on Thursday said it was exploring how AI could help it react faster to this kind of content on a live streamed video.

“AI has made massive progress over the years and in many areas, which has enabled us to proactively detect the vast majority of the content we remove. But it’s not perfect.

“However, this particular video did not trigger our automatic detection systems,” Rosen said, referring to the New Zealand attack video. (IANS)