Well, That Went Well

Two years ago, Facebook commissioned an independent audit of the civil rights impact of the platform.

The report is in, and the 89 page report can be boiled down to 2 words ,”YOU SUCK.

This is not a surprise. First, Facebook has always had an extremely self-serving attitude towards its most abusive users and posts, which is that if it generates engagement, they don’t care:

Auditors handpicked by Facebook to examine its policies said that the company had not done enough to protect people on the platform from discriminatory posts and ads and that its decisions to leave up President Trump’s inflammatory posts were “significant setbacks for civil rights.”

The 89-page audit put Facebook in an awkward position as the presidential campaign heats up. The report gave fuel to the company’s detractors, who said the site had allowed hate speech and misinformation to flourish. The audit also placed the social network in the spotlight for an issue it had worked hard to avoid since the 2016 election: That it may once again be negatively influencing American voters.


“Many in the civil rights community have become disheartened, frustrated and angry after years of engagement where they implored the company to do more to advance equality and fight discrimination, while also safeguarding free expression,” wrote the auditors, Laura W. Murphy and Megan Cacace, who are civil rights experts and lawyers.


But the report was especially devastating for Facebook, because its executives had pointed to it as a sign that the company was seriously grappling with the content of its site.


The auditors pointed to extremist and white nationalist content, as well as to hate organizations, saying Facebook needed to do more to identify and remove them from its site. The company’s algorithms also continued to push people toward self-reinforcing echo chambers, they said, potentially deepening polarization.


On Tuesday, civil rights leaders met with Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg with 10 demands, including appointing a civil rights executive. But attendees said the Facebook executives did not agree to many of their requests and instead spouted “spin.” Mr. Zuckerberg said that while the company would make some changes to its processes, it would not do so because of external pressure or threat of financial loss, said one person who attended the meeting.

There have been promises of improved behavior, but there are ALWAYS promises of improved behavior, and they go back to doing the same sh%$ over and over again.

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