Over the past half a year, Facebook has dramatically cut its spending and laid off thousands of workers. The social media giant has said that these layoffs won’t affect its ability to protect users or police content, but according to a report this week in The Washington Post, many employees within the company disagree.
With cuts to safety teams, some of these Facebook employees anonymously expressed concern that viral misinformation and influence campaigns could run rampant. And the timing for this couldn’t be worse, with many elections around the world (including here in the US) happening next year.
“I think we’re going to see misinformation and disinformation on a level and a scale that we haven’t really seen in the past because the ease of producing that kind of material is just accelerating,” former Facebook content moderation leader Brian Fishman told The Washington Post. “Capacity at these companies is really, really critical.”
With these layoffs, Facebook has come to rely even more on artificial intelligence to detect and remove dangerous content. However, that is still a deeply flawed system, and lots of human oversight is still needed to effectively moderate content. Hopefully Facebook steps up these measures heading into next year, but for now, it seems like there could be major problems on the horizon.
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