Last year, Facebook launched an internal civil rights audit following criticisms that the platform was too soft on hate speech and abusive content. Now, the company has released its first update on the audit’s findings, and many civil rights advocates are not impressed with the results.
Many of these civil rights advocacy groups banded together to form the Change the Terms coalition, which has helped Facebook over the past year to develop a civil rights accountability structure. So it’s telling that these groups, which have been intimately involved in Facebook’s efforts to improve itself, were among the most vocal critics of the company’s audit.
“Facebook’s so-called audit is simply too heavy on platitudes and not comprehensive enough,” Keegan Hankes, the Interim Research Director at Southern Poverty Law Center, said in a statement. “We cannot move forward to protect targeted groups harmed by activity on the platform unless we have both an unvarnished look at the cesspools of hate and misinformation growing and spreading on Facebook with the company’s detailed plan for action to be taken on an urgent timeline, and this update provided the public with neither.”
Facebook loves to tout its own successes when it comes to protecting users, but the message gets undercut — to say the least — when the company’s partners come out and say it’s not doing enough.
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