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Facebook shutting down facial recognition program

Posted by / November 3, 2021

Citing massive privacy concerns and misuse by state agencies, Facebook is shutting down its privacy program.

The news comes amidst a host of issues facing the company. Language gaps at Facebook have hindered the company’s ability to stop the spread of hate speech and terrorism, while simultaneously mistakenly censoring perfectly harmless things.

Internal documents show that Facebook employees knew the platform was being used to incite violence in Ethiopia, but the company failed to do much to stop it. Internal documents also reveal that Facebook was unprepared to handle the “Stop the Steal” movement, despite CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s downplaying.

Facebook is planning to reduce the amount of political news that shows up on peoples feeds, according to Nick Clegg, vice president for global affairs and communications at Facebook. Immediately after being named a recipient of the aware Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa criticized Facebook, calling it a threat to democracy and “prioritize[s] the spread of lies laced with anger and hate over facts.”

When Facebook and its related sites went down recently, traffic to actual news sites went up.

Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who revealed that Facebook knew it was bad for people, and especially young women, has appeared on 60 Minutes. She revealed that Facebook was aware of how divisive its platform was, but refused to make any changes to the algorithm because it brought it more ad revenue.

According to internal documents, Facebook knew Instagram is bad for teens, most especially teenage girls.

Facebook has shut down the personal accounts of two NYU researchers and halted their research into the spread of misinformation via political ads on the network.3

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