Within Facebook there are multiple threads of employees who are frustrated that FB is not doing enough to stop racist abuse on the accounts of English players Bukayo Saka & Marcus Rashford. They have been flagging comments for 12+ hours. One employee: “We MUST act faster here.”
Some employees are wondering why they weren’t prepared more. Racist abuse is something they’ve seen all premier league season, they said. “It seems this was totally preventable,” one employee wrote on an internal forum, and asked what FB will do ahead of World Cup 2022.
As evidence, FB employees have screenshotted pages and pages of racist comments on the accounts of Saka, Rashford, and Sancho. The most common epithets use monkey emojis. One employee says the comments are from spam and anon accounts that look like they are created to abuse ppl.
One employee says they’ve reported so many racist comments that their personal Instagram account has been rate limited and will not allow them to report any more content.
“Is it possible to remove known racist emojis from comments?” one employee asks. Another asks if new accounts with no followers could be prevented from commenting on high profile accounts. Another asks if FB/IG can flood the accounts “with positivity to counterbalance the hate.”
Content moderation is tough but Mark Zuckerberg created a platform to connect the world and must now reckon with what that truly means. This isn’t a new problem, yet it’s clear that Facebook is utterly failing based on its own expectations and rules around racist abuse.
I leave you with this FB employee internal comment:

“We get this stream of utter bile every match, and it’s even worse when someone black misses… We really can’t be seen as complicit in this.”
Facebook opened up an incident report, known internally as an SEV, to investigate the racist abuse directed at England’s black players. The company’s policy, security, and other teams are now gauging how to react and respond, according to two sources.

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More from @RMac18

6 Jul
Just landed at an airport on vacation but here’s news: a Facebook VP just posted internally warning employees of an excerpt tomm from @sheeraf and @ceciliakang’s book. He says he doesn’t expect a “nuanced portrait” and that it’s going to make waves because it’s two NYT reporters.
He also says he expects headlines for “weeks to come.”

This, folks, is what we call priming the pump.
“Please do not read this book that will own us” seems like an interesting strategy
Read 6 tweets
12 May
As a reporter, it's tough covering every content moderation "mistake" by Facebook. But even the smallest one can have an outsize impact. The company's failure to recognize that and allocate resources, particularly in non-US markets, is just wild to me.
Today's "mistake," labeling an Islamic holy site as a terrorist org simply because it shares the same word is baffling. Facebook supposedly has extremism and policy experts in the Middle East. Are there enough of them? Are they being listened to? buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanma…
It's literally been two weeks since we covered the last (unexplained) content moderation "mistake": the blocking of #ResignModi in India as people used FB and Instagram to bring attention to the dire COVID situation in India.

Read 6 tweets
12 May
Instagram was removing content associated with Al-Aqsa Mosque, the site of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians, because it labeled the site as a terrorist organization. Internally, the company called it a mistake, and we obtained the docs.
As conflict escalated, people tried to use Instagram to spread news about Al-Aqsa. But they noticed posts tagged with Al-Aqsa or (#الاقصى or #الأقصى) were being removed, while hashtags were hidden. This angered employees who filed internal complaints.
After filing a complaint, one employee was told that a post about Al-Aqsa was removed by mistake because "alaqsa" had been a designated organization.

Read 5 tweets
27 Apr
Twitter has now placed a label on @AlexPattyy's tweet that called out the coronavirus misinfo on Joe Rogan's show. 🙃
The tweet isn't misleading. The video content, which the text of the tweet is calling out, has misleading info. That distinction is important...
I guess I can see how the original tweet doesn't explicitly disavow Rogan's statement, and Twitter likely wants to err on the side of caution. But there is so much context collapse on this site that labels needs to be be precise, and this one isn't.
Read 4 tweets
26 Apr
On a night when an actress of Asian descent felt compelled enough to use part of her winner’s speech to correct the pronunciation of her own name, maybe you could just redo your tweet of another Asian name but with the right spelling?
Her tweet with the misspelling is still up and has racked up another 100 or so engagements in a few hours.

It’s not hard to delete and redo it. It’s not worth preserving something that’s wrong for 200 dumb likes.
People misspell shit all the time. But acknowledging it and then doing nothing about it — while letting the misspelling perpetuate and spread — is dumb. Who cares about the engagement on one meaningless tweet.
Read 4 tweets
22 Apr
The top employee voted question at today's internal Facebook Q&A for Mark Zuckerberg:

"What is our next big product, which does not imitate already existing products on the market?"
Another question:

"Are you afraid of FB becoming like GE of the 90s: a huge conglomerate where not all entities are tied to the company's core mission?"
And another:

"Why has Facebook not notified half a billion users [that] their name, phone number, and email address was breached in 2019?"
Read 5 tweets

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