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Key Quotes from the Facebook Papers



These paperwork are disclosures made to the Securities and Alternate Fee and offered to Congress in redacted type by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen‘s authorized counsel. The redacted variations have been obtained by the consortium.

The paperwork, and the tales based mostly on them, raised considerations in regards to the potential real-world harms from Fb’s numerous platforms. In addition they provide perception into the interior workings of the corporate, together with its strategy to misinformation and hate speech moderation, each within the US and internationally, in addition to worker reactions to considerations about firm selections.

The Wall Avenue Journal beforehand revealed a collection of tales based mostly on inner Fb paperwork leaked by Haugen, which raised considerations in regards to the impact of Instagram on teen girls, amongst different points. (The consortium’s work is predicated on lots of the similar paperwork.)

Fb has repeatedly tried to discredit Haugen and mentioned experiences on the paperwork mischaracterize its actions. “On the coronary heart of those tales is a premise which is fake,” a Fb spokesperson beforehand mentioned in an announcement to CNN. “Sure, we’re a enterprise and we make revenue, however the concept that we accomplish that on the expense of individuals’s security or wellbeing misunderstands the place our personal business pursuits lie.”

Listed here are some key quotes from the paperwork offered to this point.

Vaccine misinformation

In February 2021, a 12 months into the pandemic, a Fb analysis report was shared internally and noted a priority: “Our inner techniques aren’t but figuring out, demoting and/or eradicating anti-vaccine feedback usually sufficient.”
One other report a month later stated: “The mixture danger from [vaccine hesitancy] in feedback could also be larger than that from posts, and but we’ve under-invested in stopping hesitancy in feedback in comparison with our funding in content material.”

A Fb spokesperson mentioned the corporate has made enchancment on the problems raised within the inner memos.

Human trafficking

Based on one inner report from January 2020 entitled “Home Servitude and Labor Trafficking within the Center East,” a Fb investigation discovered the next: “Our platform allows all three levels of the human exploitation lifecycle (recruitment, facilitation, exploitation) by way of advanced real-world networks. … The traffickers, recruiters and facilitators from these ‘businesses’ used FB [Facebook] profiles, IG [Instagram] profiles, Pages, Messenger and WhatsApp.”

A Fb spokesperson instructed CNN: “We prohibit human exploitation in no unsure phrases.” The spokesperson mentioned it has “been combatting human trafficking on our platform for a few years.”

The algorithm’s affect

An inner analysis observe from April 2019 pointed out that a number of European political events claimed Fb’s 2018 choice to refocus its Information Feed algorithm on a brand new metric, known as “significant social interactions,” had “modified the character of politics. For the more severe.”

Fb instructed CNN the introduction of the metric wasn’t a “sea change” in how the corporate ranked customers’ exercise on the social community because it beforehand thought of likes, feedback, and shares as a part of its rating.

Gaps in worldwide protection

In June 2020, a Fb worker posted a report to an inner group with about 1,500 members noting an ongoing audit into the effectiveness of its indicators to detect misinformation and hate speech in at-risk international locations. Based on the report, the audit “discovered important gaps in our protection (particularly in Myanmar & Ethiopia), showcasing that our present indicators could also be insufficient.”

In a public assertion addressing experiences regarding the leaked analysis, Fb mentioned, “We now have an industry-leading course of for reviewing and prioritizing international locations with the very best danger of offline hurt and violence, each six months. After we reply to a disaster, we deploy country-specific assist as wanted.”

Inside reactions to January sixth rebellion

Commenting on a put up in regards to the Capitol rebellion written by Mike Schroepfer, Fb’s chief know-how officer, one staffer wrote: “Management overrides analysis based mostly coverage selections to raised serve folks just like the teams inciting violence at present. Rank and file employees have achieved their half to establish modifications to enhance our platforms however have been actively held again.”
One other staffer, referencing years of controversial and questionable decision-making by Fb management round political speech concluded, “historical past is not going to choose us kindly.”
In response to the paperwork, Fb told CNN, “the accountability for the violence that occurred on January 6 lies with those that attacked our Capitol and those that inspired them.” The corporate additionally careworn the steps it took earlier than and after the rebellion to crack down on content material associated to the “Cease the Steal” motion.



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