Facebook takes down content based on PR over real civic issues, says ex-employee

An ex-employee of Facebook has accused the corporate of prioritising points that pose public relations (PR) dangers over these that may trigger civic hurt. First reported by Buzzfeed News, the accusations come from Sophie Zhang, a knowledge scientist at Facebook who wrote an inside memo citing examples of how Facebook was gradual to behave on faux accounts and so on. even when there was concrete proof. Zhang was lately fired from Facebook.

In the memo, Zhang cites examples of how politicians in nations like Honduras, Azerbaijan, Brazil, and even India have been misusing the platform to sway public opinion.

According to the report, Facebook eliminated a community of accounts meant to affect the Delhi elections earlier this 12 months, and the corporate made no disclosures of the identical.

Additionally, she says that Facebook’s senior management was reluctant to focus on smaller nations, as a substitute prioritising areas within the US and Western Europe.

“A supervisor on Strategic Response mused to myself that a lot of the world exterior the West was successfully the Wild West with myself because the part-time dictator – he meant the assertion as a praise, however it illustrated the immense pressures upon me,” she wrote.

Facebook introduced the takedown of malicious accounts from Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez’s advertising staff in 2019, however Zhang wrote that it took the corporate nearly a 12 months to take them down. Also, Facebook by no means disclosed the truth that the accounts have been up and working once more quickly after the takedown.

Zhang additionally wrote that there’s “a lot violating behaviour” all over the world and it was left to her “personal assessment” to resolve which circumstances to analyze.

She alleged that in lots of circumstances, Facebook didn’t take motion even after she raised them as points. She mentioned that going by means of the designated channels didn’t work, and she or he needed to take different routes. She was ultimately requested to cease her civic work and Facebook advised her they must let her go if she refused.

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