• By The Financial District

Facebook Faces Internal Revolt Over Lax Control Of Hate Speech

As supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6th, battling police and forcing lawmakers into hiding, an insurrection of a different kind was taking place inside the world’s largest social media company, Alan Suderman and Joshua Goodman reported for the Associated Press (AP).


Photo Insert: Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen talks with Senator Richard Blumenthal.



Thousands of miles away, in California, Facebook engineers were racing to tweak internal controls to slow the spread of misinformation and inciteful content.


Emergency actions — some of which were rolled back after the 2020 election — included banning Trump, freezing comments in groups with a record for hate speech, filtering out the “Stop the Steal” rallying cry, and empowering content moderators to act more assertively by labeling the US a “Temporary High-Risk Location” for political violence.



New internal documents provided by former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen provide a rare glimpse into how the company appears to have simply stumbled into the Jan. 6 riot.


It quickly became clear that even after years under the microscope for insufficiently policing its platform, the social network had missed how riot participants spent weeks vowing — on Facebook itself — to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The documents also appear to bolster Haugen’s claim that Facebook put its growth and profits ahead of public safety, opening the clearest window yet into how Facebook’s conflicting impulses — to safeguard its business and protect democracy — clashed in the days and weeks leading up to the attempted Jan. 6 coup.


What Facebook called “Break the Glass” emergency measures put in place on Jan. 6 were essentially a toolkit of options designed to stem the spread of dangerous or violent content that the social network had first used in the run-up to the bitter 2020 election.


Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

As many as 22 of those measures were rolled back at some point after the election, an internal spreadsheet analyzing the company’s response showed. “As soon as the election was over, they turned them back off or they changed the settings back to what they were before, to prioritize growth over safety,” Haugen said in an interview with “60 Minutes.”



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