Thursday, June 29, 2017

Facebook's Awfulness is On Purpose


I wanted to believe that Facebook's shittiness was because they just didn't want to spend money to actually hire people to adequately review reported posts and the reason horrifically racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and islamophobic posts go unchallenged while I got suspended for three days for calling a white guy a cracker is because, in spite of what bigots like to claim, they and their privileged pals are the ones constantly reporting anything they don't like while people like me often just block it. And the lack of human power going into the process is part of the problem. But.

Turns out it's so much worse that that.

A trove of internal documents reviewed by ProPublica sheds new light on the secret guidelines that Facebook’s censors use to distinguish between hate speech and legitimate political expression. The documents reveal the rationale behind seemingly inconsistent decisions. For instance, Higgins’ incitement to violence passed muster because it targeted a specific sub-group of Muslims — those that are “radicalized” — while Delgado’s post was deleted for attacking whites in general.

The post by Higgins was this:

Yeah, that's still up.

It doesn't matter that this kind of language incites violence against all Muslims or anyone who might be mistaken for a Muslim. Not to Facebook. As long as you're not technically, outright saying ALL Muslims should die, you're fine.

That explains a lot.

Check out this part of a "quiz" given to Facebook employees:

Click to Enlarge

Apparently, "female drivers" aren't protected because while gender is a protected category, "drivers" are not. "Men" and "white people" are protected because one is a gender and one is a race. But, on Facebook, apparently, children are not protected.

Perhaps the only company on Earth that will train their staff on that principle.

This is color-blindness on steroids. Facebook seeks to protect all groups equally despite the fact that groups are unequally threatened. It's the old giving the same amount of water to someone whose glass is empty as someone whose glass is full thing. Except the person who gets wet is somehow always the person with less.

And it gets worse yet.

The challenge of policing political expression is even more complex. The documents reviewed by ProPublica indicate, for example, that Donald Trump’s posts about his campaign proposal to ban Muslim immigration to the United States violated the company’s written policies against “calls for exclusion” of a protected group. As The Wall Street Journal reported last year, Facebook exempted Trump’s statements from its policies at the order of Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder and chief executive.

It's a long article, going into the history of the policing policies of popular sites and services. I haven't read it all yet. It might get worse, and I'm tired. At this point I need to decide whether I want to delete my Facebook account or just spend my time reporting everything and complaining about every ad I see on that shit site to overload their shit system.

Fuck you, Facebook.

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