When it comes to controlling the spread of hate speech and offensive content, Facebook has its hands full in the US. However, that’s even more true overseas where countless different languages and cultures come into play. The company has even been accused of contributing to human rights abuses and violence in some countries like Ethiopia, unwittingly helping spread content that fueled violence. That’s why prominent human rights advocacy group Amnesty International is calling on Facebook to set up a restitution fund for victims of violence and conflict around the world.
In its report on the matter, Amnesty International blamed Facebook’s algorithm for enflaming conversations that can ultimately lead to violence against minority groups and communities.
“Meta’s content-shaping algorithms are tuned to maximize engagement, and to boost content that is often inflammatory, harmful and divisive, as this is what tends to garner the most attention from users,” the human rights group said, blaming Facebook’s prioritization of profit over safety for normalizing hate speech and violence in Ethiopia. The group also went on to say that Facebook’s subsequent improvements to its content moderation system came too late, and that they didn’t “address the root cause of the threat Meta represents to human rights — the company’s data-hungry business model.”
Indeed, the main problem with Facebook has always been its need to collect as much user info as possible to feed its algorithms. And unfortunately, that’s not going to change anytime soon. However, it’s still a positive that groups like this are holding the company’s feet to the fire to take responsibility for its issues.
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