Recently, a former Facebook employee and whistleblower, Frances Haugen, exposed the tech giant via internal documents. The files indicated that the social media platform knew it didn’t have enough employees with language skills to identify offensive posts in several developing countries. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) called the company out for prioritizing profit over the safety of people.
Not only did the leaked documents show Facebook knew it didn’t have a sufficient number of employees, but also that its artificial intelligence (AI) system, which the company uses to filter out offensive content, is insufficient. Employees at the tech firm have warned that Facebook couldn’t effectively police objectionable and abusive content in areas where speech was at the highest risk of inciting violence and causing harm. With 2.8 billion users in 190 countries, Facebook has become a large presence on the Internet.
While the company, according to Facebook spokesperson Mavis Jones, reviews content in 70 native languages, the figure pales in comparison to the number of languages users post content in, which is over 160. It’s mainly a language barrier that’s preventing Facebook from effectively researching and stopping offensive content. The internal documents also prove Facebook, with its global influence, may be a much bigger threat than many people initially believed.
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