Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a big splash in March when he announced the company would begin a “pivot to privacy.” Since then, Facebook has followed through with some of its promises to do a better job protecting users. However, experts are raising concerns that the social media giant’s “pivot” may come with harmful unintended consequences.
One of Facebook’s central strategies for improving privacy was to invest more in private groups and messaging. However, as experts have pointed out, private groups can be used to protect more than just marginalized voices. They can shelter bad actors, too.
“Large private groups remain unmoderated black boxes where users can freely threaten vulnerable populations,” Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League told The Washington Post. “Without any AI or human moderators, it’s easy to orchestrate harassment campaigns — at minimum, this environment contributes to the normalization of bigotry and discrimination. As Facebook moves to more and more private communication, we’re concerned about this delinquency.”
Even when Facebook tries to do the right thing, as it did here, the company still somehow winds up on the wrong side of the argument. It’s simply too big, and its technology too powerful, to police all the ways that its platform can be used.
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