Facebook whistleblower cites violence in Myanmar and Ethiopia, spying by China and Iran

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The former product manager made reference to a series of links between activity on Facebook and deadly violence in Myanmar and Ethiopia, and spying by China and Iran.

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“My fear is that without action, the divisive and extremist behavior we see today is only the beginning. What we saw in Myanmar and now Ethiopia are the opening chapters of a story so terrifying that no one can see the end of it. I don’t want to read.” Referring to the recent bloodshed in both the countries, he said.

Facebook acknowledged in 2018 that it failed to do enough To stop the spread of hate posts against the persecuted Rohingya minority in Myanmar. has since vowed to limit Spread of “misinformation” in the country after a military coup earlier this year.
Asked by a senator whether Facebook is used by “authoritarian or terrorist-based leaders” around the world, Haugen replied that such use of the platform is “definitely”, and that Facebook is “very aware” of it.
Her last role at Facebook was with the company’s counter-espionage team, which she says “Worked directly on tracking Chinese participation on the platformSurvey of, say, Uyghur populations around the world.”

“You can actually find sugar by virtue of doing things like this,” she said.

In March, Facebook security staff revealed that Chinese hackers had targeted Uighur activists and out-of-country journalists with fake Facebook accounts and malware.

Haugen’s team also observed that “the active involvement of the Iranian government is spying on other state actors. This is certainly something that is happening,” she said.

This summer, Facebook’s head of cyber espionage investigation Mike DiVlyansky told Granthshala that the company had disabled “fewer than 200 operational accounts” on its platform linked to an Iranian spying operation, and a similar number of Facebook users. who may have been targeted by them. Group.

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Haugen, however, blamed “(Facebook’s) counter-espionage information operation and a persistent lack of terrorism team” for the ongoing spread of such threats, and said he was talking about them with other parts of Congress as well. was being

This revelation prompted Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, to suggest that national security concerns be explored more deeply in the future.

engagement based ranking

According to Haugen, engagement based ranking – which amplifies content that prompts users to like, share or respond with comments – is “literally promoting ethnic violence” in countries such as Ethiopia Deep regional and ethnic divisions.

“I encourage the improvement of these platforms, rather than pick and choose individual ideas, but to make ideas safer, less twitchy, less viral, because that is how we solve these problems,” she said.

While Facebook has developed measures to mitigate the threat, they apply disproportionately across the world’s languages, Haugen said.

“Facebook also knows, they have publicly acknowledged that engagement-based ranking is dangerous without integrity and security systems, but then did not bring those integrity and security systems to most of the world’s languages. And that is why things Ethiopia in ethnic violence.”

Facebook removes Russian network that targeted influencers for spreading anti-vax messages

Following the hearing, Facebook issued a statement that attempted to denigrate Hogen and dispute “his characterization” of a number of issues.

“Today, a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing at Facebook with a former product manager who worked for the company for less than two years had no direct reports, ever a decision-point meeting with C-level executives. did not participate in – and testified more than six times for not working on the subject in question,” the statement read, Spokesperson Andy Stone tweeted.

“We don’t agree with his characterization on many of the issues he testified about. Despite all this, we do agree on one thing; it’s time for the Internet to make standard rules.”


Credit : www.cnn.com

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