Facebook still has trouble removing white supremacists, study says

Facebook’s action against hate speech is obviously in need of improvement. As The Washington Post , the nonprofit Watchdog Tech Transparency Project (TTP) has released a study showing that white supremacist groups still have a significant presence on social media. Over 80 of these racist organizations have a presence on Facebook, some of which the company has already labeled as “dangerous organizations” that it normally bans. The researchers found 119 pages and 20 groups, including 24 pages that Facebook automatically generated when users listed white supremacist groups as employers or interests.

According to the watchdog, searches were also problematic. Facebook showed ads alongside searches for white supremacist groups, even when those outfits were on the social site’s blacklist. Recommendations drove visitors to other hate sites, and Facebook’s tactic of redirecting users to pro-tolerance groups only worked for 14 percent of 226 searches. Some searches for supremacists have shown ads for black churches. This could effectively identify targets for extremists, TTP said.

In a statement to Engadget, Meta said it “immediately” began removing ads from searches associated with banned groups. It also said it fixes the issue with a “small number” of auto-generated pages. The company also pledged to continue working with outside experts to “stay ahead” of hate and other extremist content. You can read the full statement below.

The survival of these groups on Facebook is not entirely surprising. Libby Hemphill, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan The post that hate groups increasingly know how to circumvent content restrictions. Online platforms often have to adapt and the TTP study suggests that they are not always successful.

Even so, the results amplify Meta’s headache. They come just weeks after GLAAD accused meta-brands of doing too little to protect LGBTQ users, and relatively soon after whistleblower Frances Haugen said Facebook’s algorithmic content filtering only caught a “tiny minority” of hate speech. There is a lot of pressure to step up anti-hate measures and it’s not yet clear how well the latest fixes will help.

“All 270 groups Meta has identified as white supremacist organizations are banned from our platform. We invest heavily in technology, people and research to keep our platforms secure. We immediately fixed an issue where ads were appearing when searching for terms related to banned organizations, and we’re also working to fix an auto-generation issue that was incorrectly impacting a small number of pages. We will continue to work with outside experts and organizations to stay ahead of violent, hateful and terrorist content and remove such content from our platforms.”

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https://www.engadget.com/facebook-white-supremacists-problem-185321638.html?src=rss Facebook still has trouble removing white supremacists, study says

Russell Falcon

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