Connect with us

General

Facebook Independent Audit Faults Company Decisions for ‘Significant Setbacks’ to Civil Rights

Published

on

Facebook Independent Audit

Facebook simply has not done enough to fight problems including hate speech and voter suppression, according to a report culminating a two-year independent audit of the social giant’s practices and policies. That has included Facebook’s failure to take action against disinformation and inflammatory comments posted by President Donald Trump, the report said.

“Unfortunately, in our view Facebook’s approach to civil rights remains too reactive and piecemeal,” the authors of the report, released Wednesday, wrote. “Many in the civil rights community have become disheartened, frustrated and angry after years of engagement where they implored the company to do more to advance equality and fight discrimination, while also safeguarding free expression.”

While the report also outlines “a number of positive and consequential steps that the company has taken,” the auditors wrote that they “are concerned that those gains could be obscured by the vexing and heartbreaking decisions Facebook has made that represent significant setbacks for civil rights.”

The audit and the resulting 89-page report (available at this link) were led by noted civil rights expert Laura W. Murphy and Megan Cacace, partner with civil-rights law firm Relman Colfax. Facebook commissioned the audit in 2018.

The release of the report comes a day after CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook leaders met with the organizers of the #StopHateForProfit initiative — who have organized an advertising boycott of the social-media giant in an attempt to coerce Facebook into dealing more forcefully with hate speech and harassment. More than 900 marketers, including Unilever, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Target, Starbucks, Verizon and Acura, have said they are temporarily suspending ad spending on Facebook. The advocacy groups, which include the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, universally expressed disappointment in the meeting and described Facebook’s attempts to assuage their concerns as PR “spin.”

The civil rights experts’ report said Facebook has not invested enough to combat organized hate against Muslims and Jews. Specifically, it criticized the company for blocking white-supremacist content by identifying the phrases “white nationalism” or “white separatism,” rather than applying a broader lens to content espousing a white-nationalist ideology.

“The Auditors do not believe that Facebook is sufficiently attuned to the depth of concern on the issue of polarization and the way that the algorithms used by Facebook inadvertently fuel extreme and polarizing content,” the report said.

The report cited Zuckerberg’s October 2019 speech at Georgetown University in which he said protecting free expression was Facebook’s overriding priority and stated, “I don’t think it’s right for a private company to censor politicians or the news in a democracy.” In their report, the auditors said, “The prioritization of free expression over all other values, such as equality and nondiscrimination, is deeply troubling.”

The auditors called out Facebook’s inaction on Trump posts in May 2020, including disinformation about mail-in voting and his May 29 remark about unrest in Minneapolis in which he said, “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Facebook’s determination that those posts didn’t violate its policies has “caused considerable alarm for the Auditors and the civil rights community,” the auditors wrote in the report. They said the decision to leave up Trump’s “looting and shooting” remark, which has a racist history, “allowed the propagation of hate/violent speech.” Twitter, by contrast, hid Trump’s “looting and shooting” comment and added a fact-check label to the mail-in voting tweet.

“These decisions exposed a major hole in Facebook’s understanding and application of civil rights,” Murphy and Cacace wrote. “While these decisions were made ultimately at the highest level, we believe civil rights expertise was not sought and applied to the degree it should have been and the resulting decisions were devastating.”

In a response to the auditors’ report, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement that “There are no quick fixes to these issues — nor should there be.”

“This audit has been a deep analysis of how we can strengthen and advance civil rights at every level of our company — but it is the beginning of the journey, not the end,” Sandberg wrote. “What has become increasingly clear is that we have a long way to go. As hard as it has been to have our shortcomings exposed by experts, it has undoubtedly been a really important process for our company. We would urge companies in our industry and beyond to do the same.”

Facebook has committed to hire a civil rights leader “who will continue to push us on these issues internally,” and plans to recruit staff with civil rights expertise for “core teams,” according to Sandberg. Among other steps, she said the company has strengthened its voter suppression policies since the 2016 and 2018 elections and has pledged “to bring on 30% more people of color, including 30% more Black people, in leadership positions.”

Sandberg, in a post on Facebook Tuesday ahead of the meeting with the #StopHateForProfit representatives, claimed, “We are making changes – not for financial reasons or advertiser pressure, but because it is the right thing to do.”

Charles recently joined the team, and he writes for the Headline column of the website. He has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism. He has worked for more than 1.5 years in a media house. Now, he joined our team as a contributor for covering the latest US headlines. He is smart both by him looks and nature. He is very good with everyone in the team.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

General

Rajasthan Political Crisis: Six ‘BSP MLAs’ Move Supreme Court, Seek Transfer of Case on Merger With Congress From HC

Six MLAs who had won in the 2018 Rajasthan assembly elections on the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket moved the Supreme Court on Saturday seeking the transfer of the case against their merger with the Congress to the top judicial body.

Published

on

By

Supreme Court of India

Jaipur, August 8: Six MLAs who had won in the 2018 Rajasthan assembly elections on the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket moved the Supreme Court on Saturday seeking the transfer of the case against their merger with the Congress to the top judicial body. The proceedings in their case is currently underway in the Rajasthan High Court. BSP Twist to Rajasthan Political Row: Mayawati’s Party to File Plea in HC Tomorrow Against Merger of Its 6 MLAs With Congress.

The six legislators – R Gudha, Lakhan Singh, Deep Chand, JS Awana, Sandeep Kumar and Wajib Ali – had joined the Congress en masse in September 2019. Speaker CP Joshi had approved their merger as the entire legislature party of the BSP in Rajasthan had switched camps.

The BSP, led by former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, moved the High Court on July 28 with a plea challenging their merger. The party claimed that since it is registered as a “national political party”, such a merger could be validated only if all state units of the BSP merge with the Congress.

The case filed by BSP in the Rajasthan HC was preceded by a whip issued to the six MLAs, directing them to vote against the Ashok Gehlot-led government in the state in case of a trust vote.

If the High Court order annuls their merger with Congress and rules that the MLAs still belong to the BSP, they would be required to adhere to the party whip. If the legislators violate the whip issued to them in case of a trust vote, their membership of the House could be cancelled.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Aug 08, 2020 05:44 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

Continue Reading

General

Snakes Glide Up on Trees in Shivamogga As Water Level in Karnataka’s Tunga River Rises After Heavy Rainfall (Watch Video)

Video of snakes resting on a tree as the water level in River Tunga increased due to heavy rain in Shivamogga has gone viral. Heavy rainfall in Karnataka has to lead to a flood-like situation in the state.

Published

on

By

Snakes from Tunga River

Video of snakes resting on a tree as the water level in River Tunga increased due to heavy rain in Shivamogga has gone viral. Heavy rainfall in Karnataka has to lead to a flood-like situation in the state. Video of snakes gliding on trees to save themselves from the flowing water is being widely shared on social platforms. Snakes were seen coiling around stems to avoid the river banks. The video shows two snakes on a brand as water gushes beneath them. The clip further shows the river which is overflowing its banks. Karnataka Rains: Temple Submerged in Water Due to Overflowing of Hemavathi River in Hassan (Watch Video)

Karnataka has been experiencing incessant rainfall and thunderstorms causing landslides and floods. Border regions such as Belagavi district have also been witnessing rising water levels in River Krishna. It has been due to swelling of the river’s tributaries caused by heavy rains in Maharashtra. River Cauvery river is also overflowing and has submerged Bhagamandala temple, blocking connecting roads in the district. Karnataka Rains: Kodagu District Faces Flood-Like Situation Due to Heavy Rainfall, River Hemavathi and River Cauvery Flow Over Danger Mark; See Pics.

Snakes Taking Shelter on Trees as River Water Rises in Karnataka:

A three-month-old baby was rescued by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) at Balegundi village of Kodagu district in the state. The Cauvery river too is overflowing and its floodwaters have inundated the Bhagamandala temple, blocking major connecting roads in the district. There have also been landslides near Botlappa and other areas of Kodagu, along with Charmadi ghat near Chikmagalur and Dakshina Kannada. Uttara Kannada and Shivamogga are some of the districts that also been flooded due to continuous heavy rains. Water being released from dams into the state is another reason for the floods

(The above story first appeared on onhike on Aug 08, 2020 12:26 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

Continue Reading

General

Air India Express Plane Crash: Self-Quarantine and COVID-19 Tests for People Involved in Rescue Operations at Kozhikode Airport, Says Kerala Health Minister

Kochi, August 8: Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on Saturday announced that people who were engaged in rescue operations at Kozhikode

Published

on

By

Air India Express Plane Crash: Self-Quarantine and COVID-19 Tests for People Involved in Rescue Operations at Kozhikode Airport, Says Kerala Health Minister

Kochi, August 8: Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on Saturday announced that people who were engaged in rescue operations at Kozhikode Airport should go into self-quarantine. The official added saying that the State Government of Kerala will conduct the COVID-19 tests of everyone who were involved in humanitarian assistance at the accident site. “All those who were involved in rescue operations at Kozhikode Airport should go into self-quarantine. State Government to conduct coronavirus tests of all”, KK Shailaja said.

The people who have been asked to go into self-quarantine are the ones who were engaged in the rescue operations at the Kozhikode airport after Air India Express flight skidded off the runway on Friday. The flight that had a crash-landing had returned from Dubai under the Vande Bharat mission. There were 190 people onboard of which 18 people have died so far, including two pilots. Reports inform that the plane plunged 35 feet into the valley below, as it landed on its second attempt amid heavy rain in the southern state. Air India Express Plane Crash Update: 18 Dead Including 2 Pilots.

Here’s the tweet:

All those who were involved in rescue operations at Kozhikode Airport should go into self-quarantine. State Government to conduct #COVID19 tests of all: KK Shailaja, Kerala Health Minister (file pic) pic.twitter.com/Lldp3G7xwd

— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2020

The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) has been recovered from the aircraft while the floorboard is being cut to retrieve Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said.

In the wake of the incident, investigating officials from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), top officials of Air India and Air India Express have reached Kozhikode from New Delhi on Saturday. The officials will probe the cause of accident at the Kozhikode airport where an Air India Express plane skidded and fell into a valley killing 18 passengers, including the two pilots and injuring many others on Friday evening.

(The above story first appeared on onhike on Aug 08, 2020 10:52 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Categories

Recent Posts

Trending