New Facebook whistleblower claims company allows hate, illegal activity

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Another Facebook whistleblower has come forward to allege that the company prioritizes revenue over combating misinformation and hate speech, echoing statements by another former employee.

Credit: Facebook
Credit: Facebook


The whistleblower submitted an affidavit on Friday outlining the allegations under penalty of perjury, according to The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the document. The new whistleblower is reportedly a former member of Facebook's Integrity team.

One of the key claims in the affidavit is a quote from a top Facebook communications official overheard by the unnamed whistleblower in 2016, during controversy surrounding Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election that year.

"It will be a flash in the pan," said the official of the controversy. "Some legislators will get pissy. And then in a few weeks they will move onto something else. Meanwhile we are printing money in the basement, and we are fine."

The affidavit claims that the quote is indicative of a widespread attitude within Facebook regarding problematic content. It goes on to claim that Facebook executives routinely undermined its own efforts to combat hate speech, misinformation, and other problematic content.

In some cases, it avoided fighting those types of content to avoid angering then-President Donald Trump and his allies, or out of concern about dampening user growth, the affidavit claims.

The affidavit echoes many of the same claims made by Frances Haugen, a former data scientist at Facebook who leaked documents indicating that the social media giant is aware that Instagram is bad for the mental health of some of its users. Haugen also criticized the company's track record on misinformation, political polarization, and hate speech.

The filing on Friday was submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. It was accompanied by a second affidavit from former journalist Gretchen Peters, who now runs a group combatting illegal activities online.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    Facebook’s so called “Community Standards” are a joke. They literally let anyone get away with horrible acts. 
    williamlondonolsOferwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 23
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    What is “hate speech”? Given what gets censored at FB, I read such reports with suspicion that some left-wing snowflake wasn’t happy that they couldn’t silence every opinion they didn’t like.

    Example: I commented on a decision by the German parliament with the expletive “F*ing Germans!”, which was flagged as “hate speech” and my account suspended for 48h. Really? They have utterly no context and seem to filter posts with a very crude “AI” or keyword based algorithm.

    Trying to get the block lifted or the infringement expunged (since it leads to progressively longer suspensions for repeat offenses) is nearly impossible, you can submit your objection, but without any explanation text.

    Another time I was arguing a hypothetical point, and it too was flagged, even though out of context it should have been clear that it was pretty much the opposite of the point I was making.

    So, yeah, profit over filtering hate speech is a VERY GOOD thing, at least until they don’t have actual people with real common sense reviewing what gets filtered.
    williamlondonlkruppbluefire1applguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,022member
    Yes FB let terrorist's and dictators from around the world to continue to spew their hate for everyone and FB is okay, but is you are some parent questioning what their kids are being taught you have to be removed from the platform so no one else can hear your concerns.


    Just this week FB and YouTube band any things related to LETS GO BRANDAND, and claim it is miss information. 


    The thought police are in full 1984 mode.

    Since I first heard about FB back in 2006 I have been saying it would lead to nothing good. 
    macseekerwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    rcfa said:
    What is “hate speech”? Given what gets censored at FB, I read such reports with suspicion that some left-wing snowflake wasn’t happy that they couldn’t silence every opinion they didn’t like.

    Example: I commented on a decision by the German parliament with the expletive “F*ing Germans!”, which was flagged as “hate speech” and my account suspended for 48h. Really? They have utterly no context and seem to filter posts with a very crude “AI” or keyword based algorithm.

    Trying to get the block lifted or the infringement expunged (since it leads to progressively longer suspensions for repeat offenses) is nearly impossible, you can submit your objection, but without any explanation text.

    Another time I was arguing a hypothetical point, and it too was flagged, even though out of context it should have been clear that it was pretty much the opposite of the point I was making.

    So, yeah, profit over filtering hate speech is a VERY GOOD thing, at least until they don’t have actual people with real common sense reviewing what gets filtered.
    I'm trying to determine if this is an ironic Karen-type post, or some right-wing snowflake post. Funny either way though. 

    Participating in FB is just asking for trouble. I have no sympathy for those who do so. It's like volunteering to participate in a dunking booth, then complaining about getting wet. I looked at signing up about 15 years ago. Then, I read their T&C. FTS. I never signed up and never looked back. 
    pscooter63williamlondonolsapplguyWgkruegerGeorgeBMacp-dogOfermuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,686member
    Not a day goes by FB doesn’t let someone promote a clear scam into my feed. Their business seems mostly be in the enabling of fraud.
    williamlondonolsp-dogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    I say it again, the world would be a better place without Facebook. 
    mattinozp-dogOferDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    If you use Facebook, I believe cancelling it would not mean loosing contact with real friends (if that is what you use it for).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    rcfa said:
    What is “hate speech”? Given what gets censored at FB, I read such reports with suspicion that some left-wing snowflake wasn’t happy that they couldn’t silence every opinion they didn’t like.

    Example: I commented on a decision by the German parliament with the expletive “F*ing Germans!”, which was flagged as “hate speech” and my account suspended for 48h. Really? They have utterly no context and seem to filter posts with a very crude “AI” or keyword based algorithm.

    Trying to get the block lifted or the infringement expunged (since it leads to progressively longer suspensions for repeat offenses) is nearly impossible, you can submit your objection, but without any explanation text.

    Another time I was arguing a hypothetical point, and it too was flagged, even though out of context it should have been clear that it was pretty much the opposite of the point I was making.

    So, yeah, profit over filtering hate speech is a VERY GOOD thing, at least until they don’t have actual people with real common sense reviewing what gets filtered.
    Hate speech: writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group. Seems spot on. 
    p-dogOferwilliamlondonilarynxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,100member
    Wgkrueger said:
    rcfa said:
    What is “hate speech”? Given what gets censored at FB, I read such reports with suspicion that some left-wing snowflake wasn’t happy that they couldn’t silence every opinion they didn’t like.

    Example: I commented on a decision by the German parliament with the expletive “F*ing Germans!”, which was flagged as “hate speech” and my account suspended for 48h. Really? They have utterly no context and seem to filter posts with a very crude “AI” or keyword based algorithm.

    Trying to get the block lifted or the infringement expunged (since it leads to progressively longer suspensions for repeat offenses) is nearly impossible, you can submit your objection, but without any explanation text.

    Another time I was arguing a hypothetical point, and it too was flagged, even though out of context it should have been clear that it was pretty much the opposite of the point I was making.

    So, yeah, profit over filtering hate speech is a VERY GOOD thing, at least until they don’t have actual people with real common sense reviewing what gets filtered.
    Hate speech: writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group. Seems spot on. 
    Yep, I don't see what “F*ing Germans!” could possibly have added to the conversation, and on the face of it seems like a blatant insult against an entire country.  Entirely right that it should be moderated.
    Wgkruegerp-dogOferilarynxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    crowley said:
    Wgkrueger said:
    Hate speech: writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group. Seems spot on. 
    Yep, I don't see what “F*ing Germans!” could possibly have added to the conversation, and on the face of it seems like a blatant insult against an entire country.  Entirely right that it should be moderated.

    hypocrites.

    there's nothing wrong with hate speech (what you in fact do is hate speech against hate spech, haha!). there's nothing wrong with racism (and I'm telling you these even if I was (and 100% will be) "victim" of both a lot of times). same with "homophobia" (which is itself a non-existent made up thing). these are natural traits of humans. since libertards of the USA and some of their western-european myrmidons invented and distribute these lies, more people hate black (and other colored) and gay people than before (and I somehow think that was their real goal, generating tension). "funny" that they hide behind the idea of libertarianism (even if they call themselves liberals, they couldn't be further from what it means originally) while they do tell us what we can and can not say and / or talk about. "funny" they at the same time talk bad about for example russians, chinese, sometimes even in the same sentence. if there's free speech - let it be free. the problem with FB is not allowing hate speech.

    edited October 23 williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 23
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,699member
    AP reports that Facebook staff have strong disagreements about how, after the 2020 election they loosened controls over disinformation, hate speech and conspiracy theories.
    "measures were rolled back at some point after the election, according to an internal spreadsheet analyzing the company’s response. “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"

    Those disagreements were on full display on the January 6th attack on our democracy -- which was openly planned on Facebook. 
    "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."

    But further, and even more ominous, AP reports how Facebook works to actively divide the nation:
    "[a] test account, using the fake name Carol Smith, indicated a preference for mainstream news sources like Fox News, followed humor groups that mocked liberals, embraced Christianity and was a fan of Melania Trump.

    Within a single day, page recommendations for this account generated by Facebook itself had evolved to a “quite troubling, polarizing state,” the study found. By day 2, the algorithm was recommending more extremist content, including a QAnon-linked group, which the fake user didn’t join because she wasn’t innately drawn to conspiracy theories.

    A week later the test subject’s feed featured “a barrage of extreme, conspiratorial and graphic content,” including posts reviving the false Obama birther lie and linking the Clintons to the murder of a former Arkansas state senator. Much of the content was pushed by dubious groups run from abroad or by administrators with a track record for violating Facebook’s rules on bot activity."

    And that is consistent with what Jon Stewart reported:  that users are pushed by Facebook deeper and deeper into whichever political preferences they might have -- thus creating a deeper divide and a more radicalized population.

    So, we not only have to contend with religious and political groups promoting their radical beliefs and agendas -- but now we have (social) media profiting from helping them promote it -- and thus dividing and radicalizing the people of this country.


    Amid the Capitol riot, Facebook faced its own insurrection






    OferDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,100member
    vedelppa said:
    crowley said:
    Wgkrueger said:
    Hate speech: writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group. Seems spot on. 
    Yep, I don't see what “F*ing Germans!” could possibly have added to the conversation, and on the face of it seems like a blatant insult against an entire country.  Entirely right that it should be moderated.

    hypocrites.

    there's nothing wrong with hate speech (what you in fact do is hate speech against hate spech, haha!). there's nothing wrong with racism (and I'm telling you these even if I was (and 100% will be) "victim" of both a lot of times). same with "homophobia" (which is itself a non-existent made up thing). these are natural traits of humans. since libertards of the USA and some of their western-european myrmidons invented and distribute these lies, more people hate black (and other colored) and gay people than before (and I somehow think that was their real goal, generating tension). "funny" that they hide behind the idea of libertarianism (even if they call themselves liberals, they couldn't be further from what it means originally) while they do tell us what we can and can not say and / or talk about. "funny" they at the same time talk bad about for example russians, chinese, sometimes even in the same sentence. if there's free speech - let it be free. the problem with FB is not allowing hate speech.

    I didn't hate on anything.  Calm down.
    freeassociate2ilarynx
  • Reply 13 of 23
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,699member
    vedelppa said:
    crowley said:
    Wgkrueger said:
    Hate speech: writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group. Seems spot on. 
    Yep, I don't see what “F*ing Germans!” could possibly have added to the conversation, and on the face of it seems like a blatant insult against an entire country.  Entirely right that it should be moderated.

    hypocrites.

    there's nothing wrong with hate speech (what you in fact do is hate speech against hate spech, haha!). there's nothing wrong with racism (and I'm telling you these even if I was (and 100% will be) "victim" of both a lot of times). same with "homophobia" (which is itself a non-existent made up thing). these are natural traits of humans. since libertards of the USA and some of their western-european myrmidons invented and distribute these lies, more people hate black (and other colored) and gay people than before (and I somehow think that was their real goal, generating tension). "funny" that they hide behind the idea of libertarianism (even if they call themselves liberals, they couldn't be further from what it means originally) while they do tell us what we can and can not say and / or talk about. "funny" they at the same time talk bad about for example russians, chinese, sometimes even in the same sentence. if there's free speech - let it be free. the problem with FB is not allowing hate speech.


    You forgot the '/s' after that sarcasm.  Err, it was sarcasm, right?  Wasn't it?   Please say it was....
    p-dogOferWgkrueger
  • Reply 14 of 23
    vedelppa said:
    crowley said:
    Wgkrueger said:
    Hate speech: writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group. Seems spot on. 
    Yep, I don't see what “F*ing Germans!” could possibly have added to the conversation, and on the face of it seems like a blatant insult against an entire country.  Entirely right that it should be moderated.

    hypocrites.

    there's nothing wrong with hate speech (what you in fact do is hate speech against hate spech, haha!). there's nothing wrong with racism (and I'm telling you these even if I was (and 100% will be) "victim" of both a lot of times). same with "homophobia" (which is itself a non-existent made up thing). these are natural traits of humans. since libertards of the USA and some of their western-european myrmidons invented and distribute these lies, more people hate black (and other colored) and gay people than before (and I somehow think that was their real goal, generating tension). "funny" that they hide behind the idea of libertarianism (even if they call themselves liberals, they couldn't be further from what it means originally) while they do tell us what we can and can not say and / or talk about. "funny" they at the same time talk bad about for example russians, chinese, sometimes even in the same sentence. if there's free speech - let it be free. the problem with FB is not allowing hate speech.


    You forgot the '/s' after that sarcasm.  Err, it was sarcasm, right?  Wasn't it?   Please say it was....

    It wasn't. How stupid I am, right? Maybe somebody should remove my comment and ban me? Or not, that would validate some part of what I've written. Anyway, I should be silenced. Never mind, you intelligent people will only know what's right, because you were told by intelligent people that's right. So, in the end just laugh on me, or even better, hate me secretly 'cause I'm BAAAAAAD. Aaand - you're The Good Guy here, of course! ;) Feel yourself superior, you definitely are, that's for sure!
    edited October 23 williamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 23
    p-dogp-dog Posts: 105member
    vedelppa said:

    hypocrites.

    there's nothing wrong with hate speech (what you in fact do is hate speech against hate spech, haha!). there's nothing wrong with racism (and I'm telling you these even if I was (and 100% will be) "victim" of both a lot of times). same with "homophobia" (which is itself a non-existent made up thing). these are natural traits of humans. since libertards of the USA and some of their western-european myrmidons invented and distribute these lies, more people hate black (and other colored) and gay people than before (and I somehow think that was their real goal, generating tension). "funny" that they hide behind the idea of libertarianism (even if they call themselves liberals, they couldn't be further from what it means originally) while they do tell us what we can and can not say and / or talk about. "funny" they at the same time talk bad about for example russians, chinese, sometimes even in the same sentence. if there's free speech - let it be free. the problem with FB is not allowing hate speech.

    So, you’re not just espousing racism and homophobia, but you are also anti-grammar & syntax. This message tends to run on and have run-ons. 
    robabaOferwilliamlondonfreeassociate2ilarynxDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    Not a real whistleblower.  Real whistleblowers these days don’t get public attention or published stories.   This is another attempt to control the narrative and give Facebook more censorship power.  And it’s bullshit. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    p-dog said:
    So, you’re not just espousing racism and homophobia, but you are also anti-grammar & syntax. This message tends to run on and have run-ons. 

    Haha - no. Please don't bend my words so that it is convenient for you. Also I'm sorry, english obviously is not my native language and I'm here partially to practice it (I know, It'll take a lot of time :D ). I'm just telling these are natural things (recommend to read: Sapiens - a brief histroy of humankind) and believe me (or not :) ) when I say I know what is it like to be at the wrong part of the p*nis... I think it's the wrong answer to bad practices that you HAVE to think this and that. I'm coming from a country where nazis were followed by communists and we are full of it, the thing they call nowadays liberalism seems like the mix of both of these. The saddest part is (like with exporting democracy) that the real nature of it is hidden behind initially good ideas. Unfortunately this one is so bad it even makes people hate those whom it seems to want to protect. I think the correct answer would be to find a common goal as humans. Like exploring space. That russians could do with americans, germans with jewish people, chinese with uygurs. As an example, in the WWI we were fighting as one and then in the WWII there were 'us' and 'them' (jewish people) - before that, NOBODY cared.I know I'm naive. I loved Steve partially because of that, it doesn't matter who you are, even if you're a misfit, his message was to leave a dent in the Universe.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 23
    robabarobaba Posts: 190member
    dbvapor said:
    Not a real whistleblower.  Real whistleblowers these days don’t get public attention or published stories.   This is another attempt to control the narrative and give Facebook more censorship power.  And it’s bullshit. 
    Not a real poster.  Real posters use facts* and citations** to bolster their case, whereas fake posters use emotional language*** and cite their own expertise**** through logical fallacies.  Once you’ve identified a fake poster, take the appropriate steps*****





    * https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/09/03/facebook-misinformation-nyu-study/

    ** https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/aug/14/facebook-research-disinformation-politics

    *** https://www.wikihow.com/Identify-a-Troll

    **** https://www.logicalfallacies.org/

    ***** https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2015/04/09/10-tips-to-dealing-with-trolls/?sh=6d69c2cc54f4
    williamlondonDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    vedelppa said:
    crowley said:
    Wgkrueger said:
    Hate speech: writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group. Seems spot on. 
    Yep, I don't see what “F*ing Germans!” could possibly have added to the conversation, and on the face of it seems like a blatant insult against an entire country.  Entirely right that it should be moderated.

    hypocrites.

    there's nothing wrong with hate speech (what you in fact do is hate speech against hate spech, haha!). there's nothing wrong with racism (and I'm telling you these even if I was (and 100% will be) "victim" of both a lot of times). same with "homophobia" (which is itself a non-existent made up thing). these are natural traits of humans. since libertards of the USA and some of their western-european myrmidons invented and distribute these lies, more people hate black (and other colored) and gay people than before (and I somehow think that was their real goal, generating tension). "funny" that they hide behind the idea of libertarianism (even if they call themselves liberals, they couldn't be further from what it means originally) while they do tell us what we can and can not say and / or talk about. "funny" they at the same time talk bad about for example russians, chinese, sometimes even in the same sentence. if there's free speech - let it be free. the problem with FB is not allowing hate speech.

    "Natural traits."

    Funny how it's the biggest jerks who try to excuse their jerkiness by claiming that everyone is as big a jerk as themselves and therefore being a jerk is no big deal. 

    Misery loves company (even if the company is imaginary). 

    https://aesopfables.com/cgi/aesop1.cgi?sel&TheFoxWhoHadLostHisTail ;
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 23
    vedelppa said:

    ...find a common goal as humans. Like exploring space. That russians could do with americans, germans with jewish people, chinese with uygurs. 

    That's a very liberal approach. But you seem to have a unique definition of "liberal." Perhaps in this exploration of space, we'll discover the bizarre distant planet where "liberalism" is defined as "a mix of Nazis and communists." 

    Maybe...


    watto_cobra
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