Undercover footage exposes Facebook moderators’ disturbing policies

Undercover footage exposes Facebook moderators' disturbing policies

August 09, 2018 | More from TrumpTrending | Tags: , , ,

Undercover footage exposes Facebook moderators’ disturbing policies

A company that moderates content for Facebook is the focus of a new undercover Channel 4 documentary.
Image: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook has come under fire after a UK documentary exposed some of the disturbing practices at a company responsible for moderating its content.

Footage for Channel 4’s latest Dispatches episode Inside Facebook: Secrets of the Social Network was gathered by an undercover reporter who went to work at CPL Resources in Dublin, Ireland — a facility that’s worked with the social media giant for the past eight years. A video of a toddler being physically abused and a racist meme are just two examples of content that moderators chose not to take down from the site.

The clip below discusses footage of a small boy being beaten and stamped on, which has apparently been circulating on Facebook for “several years”. The clip was “Marked As Disturbing” but ultimately not taken down.

A Content Moderation Trainer can be seen in the clip saying that the only time they follow up on disturbing content is when it meets their “escalation criteria”.

“A video of someone being domestically abused ages ago is not going to be reported by us to the police,” says the unidentified employee, who also confirmed that a child physical abuse video that gets “Marked as Disturbing” would not be followed up on.

Facebook Vice President of Global Policy, Richard Allen, meanwhile, disagreed with the decision. “That shouldn’t be there, that material should’ve been taken down,” he said, before explaining that Facebook also employs child safety experts who examine content and make a decision on how to proceed with it.

Racist memes

The child abuse example above is just one of many disturbing revelations in the documentary (a longer list of these has been compiled here by the BBC). Another clip shared on Twitter, for instance, shows a training session in which new employees are given an example of an image that they should choose to “ignore”.

“This has been around for quite a while” says the trainer in the clip above. “This is an ‘ignore’ because it implies a lot but to reach the actual violation you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get there.”

The meme being used as an example shows a cartoon girl being drowned in a bathtub. The caption reads, “When your daughters [sic] first crush is a little negro boy.”

Facebook told the BBC that staff are being “retrained” as a result of Channel 4’s documentary.

“There is quite a lot of it that is against our policies and we are investigating,” said a spokesperson. “We have retrained the trainers at the company involved.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/18/facebook-content-moderators-undercover-documentary/