Avaaz: Facebook continues to fail at flagging false and misleading posts about U.S. elections

Facebook continues to fail to spot and flag false and misleading posts about elections, according to a new report published by Avaaz. The U.S.-based nonprofit found in an analysis of a cross-section of Georgia-related election misinformation on Facebook that 60% of detected false and misleading posts reached thousands of voters without fact check labels.

The report comes as investigations suggest that Facebook is failing to stem the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech on its platform. In January, Seattle University associate professor Caitlin Carlson published results from an experiment in which she and a colleague collected more than 300 posts that appeared to violate Facebook’s hate speech rules. (Only about half of the posts were ultimately removed.) Separately, according to The Washington Post and others, allies of President Donald Trump have received few penalties under Facebook’s rules. Former employees told the publication that Trump-aligned accounts have been protected against

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Facebook failed to warn Georgia voters about misinformation, activists say

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Facebook is still grappling with political misinformation after election day.


Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook has been using labels to warn users about posts that contain misinformation, but a global activist group says false claims are still slipping through the cracks ahead of runoff elections in Georgia that will decide which party controls the US Senate.

Avaaz, a global activist group, said Friday it examined 204 Facebook posts in English and Spanish that contained 12 false Georgia election-related claims debunked by fact checkers. As of Nov 20, about 60% of these posts didn’t have a label that warned users the post contained false information. Some of the posts weren’t labeled at all and others had a different label that directed Facebook users to an online hub with election information.

The analysis raises questions about whether

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Justice Dept Lawsuit Says Facebook Favored immigrants Over US Workers

The Trump administration on Thursday sued Facebook, accusing it of discriminating against American workers by favoring immigrant applicants for thousands of high-paying jobs.

The Department of Justice’s lawsuit opens a new front in the administration’s push against tech companies — and in its clampdown on immigration — as President Donald Trump enters his final weeks in office.

The suit concerns more than 2,600 positions with an average salary of some $156,000, offered from January 2018 to September 2019.

“Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified US workers,” assistant attorney general Eric Dreiband, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement outlining the department’s allegations.

The internet giant reserved positions for candidates with H1-B “skilled worker” visas or other temporary work visas, the department said.

Facebook “channeled” jobs to visa holders

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Facebook could face a state antitrust lawsuit as soon as next week

Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, October 23, 2019.

Erin Scott | Reuters

State attorneys general are preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook as soon as next week, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC’s Ylan Mui. At least 20 to 30 states could join in, the sources said.

The news comes as multiple outlets have reported the Federal Trade Commission is likely to file its own antitrust lawsuit against the social media giant. It’s still unclear where the FTC may choose to bring a case — either in federal court or before its administrative law judge. If it chooses to bring the case in-house, it cannot combine its lawsuit with the states. Reuters previously reported the states were planning an antitrust case against Facebook.

Both the FTC and the state AGs, led by New York’s Letitia James,

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Facebook to start policing antiBlack hate speech more aggressively than antiwhite comments, documents show

As one way to assess severity, Facebook assigned different types of attacks numerical scores weighted based on their perceived harm. For example, the company’s systems would now place a higher priority on automatically removing statements such as “Gay people are disgusting” than “Men are pigs.”

Facebook has long banned hate speech — defined as violent or dehumanizing speech— based on race, gender, sexuality, and other protected characteristics. It owns Instagram and has the same hate speech policies there. But before the overhaul, the company’s algorithms and policies did not make a distinction between groups that were more likely to be targets of hate speech versus those that have not been historically marginalized. Comments like “White people are stupid” were treated the same as anti-Semitic or racist slurs.

In the first phase of the project, which was announced internally to a small group in October, engineers said they had changed the

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Facebook sued for ‘denying jobs to US workers’



Mark Zuckerberg looking at the camera: Facebook has disputed the allegations made by the Department of Justice


© Getty Images
Facebook has disputed the allegations made by the Department of Justice

The US Department of Justice has accused Facebook of discriminating against American workers by giving hiring preferences to immigrants.

A lawsuit alleges the social media firm refused to recruit, consider or hire qualified and available Americans for more than 2,600 positions.

Those jobs instead went to foreigners on temporary visas, the lawsuit says.

Facebook disputed the allegations, but said it was co-operating with the department.

The lawsuit concerns Facebook’s use of temporary H-1B visas, which are often used by tech companies to bring highly skilled foreign workers to the US.

In its lawsuit, filed on Thursday, the department alleged that Facebook “intentionally created a hiring system” that favoured H-1B visa holders and other temporary workers over Americans.

The department said it filed the lawsuit after a two-year investigation into Facebook’s hiring practices.

The lawsuit seeks “back

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Trump DOJ Sues Facebook For Allegedly Reserving Jobs For Foreign Workers Instead Of Americans

Topline

The Justice Department on Thursday accused Facebook of illegally setting aside jobs for temporary visa holders instead of American workers, another move in the Trump administration’s crackdown on legal immigration.

Key Facts

The lawsuit accuses Facebook of refusing to recruit or consider “qualified and available” U.S. workers for over 2,600 positions that were instead “reserved for temporary visa holders it sponsored for permanent work authorization.”

The complaint alleges that from January 2018 to September 2019, Facebook “sought to channel jobs to temporary visa holders at the expense of U.S. workers by failing to advertise those vacancies on its careers website, requiring applicants to apply by physical mail only, and refusing to consider any U.S.

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On Facebook, Comments About ‘Whites,’ ‘Men,’ And ‘Americans’ Will Face Less Moderation

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Facebook has shifted a long-standing policy of so-called “race-blind” hate speech moderation to consider the detection and deletion of certain comments about “whites,” “men,” and “Americans” low-priority compared to those about historically marginalized groups.  

Key Facts

First reported by The Washington Post on Thursday morning and confirmed to Forbes by a Facebook spokesperson, Facebook says it has been working on Project WoW—an effort to better detect and delete content that it considers to be “the worst of the worst”—since 2019.

Facebook now differentiates between slurs directed toward certain groups, like Blacks, Muslims, the LGBTQ+ community and Jews, and those who haven’t been historically marginalized. 

As of now, the application is relatively limited: Facebook has changed its proactive technology to stop identifying a certain subset of comments about “Whites,” “men” and “Americans” that would be taken down if they referenced other groups. 

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Facebook urges Biden to restore global internet

Joe Biden should tackle the splintering of the global internet as one of his top tech priorities when he becomes president, Facebook’s head of global affairs has told Web Summit.

The Chinese internet operated on “a completely different set of values” to Silicon Valley’s “seamless and open” approach, Nick Clegg said.

He also berated the European Union for its “zealous focus” on regulation.

But he did not address the spread of misinformation on the platform.

“The global internet doesn’t exist,” Mr Clegg said in a conversation with John Micklethwait, Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief, at the Web Summit conference, which this year is online-only.



a close up of a flag: The US and China have clashed repeatedly in recent months, over trade, coronavirus and Hong Kong


© Getty Images
The US and China have clashed repeatedly in recent months, over trade, coronavirus and Hong Kong

“There are two paradigms struggling for supremacy,” he said – with Turkey, Vietnam, Russia and Pakistan all attempting to emulate China’s “censored” version.

This fight for the future of the

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Facebook is overhauling its hate speech algorithms

The overhaul, which is known as the WoW Project and is in its early stages, involves re-engineering Facebook’s automated moderation systems to get better at detecting and automatically deleting hateful language that is considered “the worst of the worst,” according to internal documents describing the project obtained by The Washington Post. The “worst of the worst” includes slurs directed at Blacks, Muslims, people of more than one race, the LGBTQ community and Jews, according to the documents.

As one way to assess severity, Facebook assigned different types of attacks numerical scores weighted based on their perceived harm. For example, the company’s systems would now place a higher priority on automatically removing statements such as “Gay people are disgusting” than “Men are pigs.”

Facebook has long banned hate speech — defined as violent or dehumanizing speech — based on race, gender, sexuality and other protected characteristics. It owns Instagram and has

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