Automated Post Censorship on Facebook
You may have noticed some strange things happening on Facebook.
Every now and then, posts will magically disappear…..and then sometimes reappear after you re-posted it 2 or 3 more times trying to figure out why it isn’t showing up.
This seems to be just a glitch in their system, although there have been times I wondered if they were censoring posts.
Typically, if a user finds a post inappropriate, they can simply flag it as spam or offensive content.
But it seems that Facebook has now taken things a step further, and are blocking comments as people try to post them.
Robert Scoble, a well-known and respected technical blogger at Scobleizer, found this out the hard way. Earlier this month, he was attempting to post a reply to another techie about blogging, but was stopped from doing so.
Scoble received a message that said, “This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can’t be posted. To avoid having comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way.”
His post was neither.
After others reported similar problems, TechCrunch contacted Facebook for comment. A policy spokesperson responded by email stating the following:
To protect the millions of people who connect and share on Facebook every day, we have automated systems that work in the background to maintain a trusted environment and protect our users from bad actors who often use links to spread spam and malware. These systems are so effective that most people who use Facebook will never encounter spam. They’re not perfect, though, and in rare instances they make mistakes. This comment was mistakenly blocked as spammy, and we have already started to make adjustments to our classifier. We look forward to learning from rare cases such as these to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistake in the future.
For more information about our spam prevention systems, please see this blog post: https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=403200567130.
So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth (or actually it’s email account).
Facebook is now proactively censoring posts based upon God knows what, and their automated system gets to decide what’s “irrelevant”, “inappropriate”, or doesn’t contribute “in a positive way.”
Facebook has made it crystal clear that they have no respect for peoples’ privacy and that they support CISPA, so we probably shouldn’t be surprised that they’re further squashing peoples’ rights by automating post censorship too.
I imagine this is just the tip of the iceberg of what we will see in the near future.
Written By Melissa S. | Friend Melissa on Facebook | Join The Forum
Facebook’s New Automated Post Censoring