Shadow-banning tech giant draws invisible line over 'hate'

Monday, November 19, 2018
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Facebook like buttonFacebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is informing the world how the company will deal with content it finds troubling and media watchdogs are alarmed.

In a nine-page open letter, Mark Zuckerberg laid out the massive social media company's Blueprint for Content Governance and Enforcement.

Noting that people will increasingly engage with controversial content as it nears the line where it would be banned, Zuckerberg says the Facebook will "change the distribution curve" so the closer it gets to that line, the less it will be distributed.

That goes for content that don't meet the threshold for so-called hate speech but that the company still finds offensive.

Gainor

Dan Gainor of MRC Tech Watch says this is very dark territory to enter. 

"That is Kafkaesque: We're not going to tell you what the rules are. We're not going to tell you you're violating them because you aren't but you really are," he complains.

There is a term for a social media company limiting the reach of your posts without letting you know, known as shadow banning, and Gainor wonders if Facebook will shadow ban content that technically doesn't break its own rules.

"So how are people supposed to know that they're doing something that they don't like?" he asks.

Gainor spredicts the shadow banning policy will be leveraged against some but not others.

Zuckerberg also revealed in the letter that artificial intelligence will be doing most of the content policing by the end of 2019. But those same bots, Gainor points out, are programmed by the liberal workforce at Facebook.

 

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