Call it Facebook or call it Meta, the world’s largest social media platform with billions of users is still getting slammed on all sides. So rebranding is not really a cure for a company’s ills after all, is it?
So, what now? Well, according to the Washington Post, Facebook’s algorithms not only discriminated against minorities, but the company new about it too. Apparently, there was a plan proposed by Facebook staff to block hate speech and racist comments before other users could even see them. But the Facebook leadership rejected this for some reason.
“Even though [Facebook executives] don’t have any animus toward people of color, their actions are on the side of racists,” Tatenda Musapatike, a former Facebook manager working on political ads and CEO of the Voter Formation Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses digital communication to increase participation in local state and national elections told the Post. “You are saying that the health and safety of women of color on the platform is not as important as pleasing your rich White man friends.”
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Another headache for Facebook is the announcement that the British clothing company Lush Retail Ltd. Has decided to quit both Facebook and Instagram.
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“As an inventor of bath bombs, I pour all my efforts into creating products that help people switch off, relax and pay attention to their wellbeing,” Jack Constantine, chief digital officer and product inventor at Lush, said in a release. “Social media platforms have become the antithesis of this aim, with algorithms designed to keep people scrolling and stop them from switching off and relaxing.”
But the real question here is, is Lush an exception or will its decision be a harbinger for more social media exits in the future.
Meanwhile, in Europe Facebook is running afoul of the E.U.’s privacy laws. Regulatory agencies there are reviewing Facebook’s practices regarding user surveillance. And yes, it is true, Facebook does follow the movements of its users.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) is reportedly facing a legal problems for having used Facebook for its own purposes. European privacy campaign group noyb filed a complaint with the E.U. commission alleging that DPC conspired with Facebook to “gag” it. This all has to do with an attempt to force the organization to delete Facebook related documents that it had revealed publicly.
“The DPC acknowledges that it has a legal duty to hear us but it now engaged in a form of ‘procedural coercion’,” said noyb chair, Max Schrems, in a statement. “The right to be heard was made conditional on us signing an agreement, to the benefit of the DPC and Facebook. It is nothing but an authority demanding to give up the freedom of speech in exchange for procedural rights.”