Following facebook’s decision to introduce 5 additional reactions apart from the like, namely, the heart, smiling, surprised, crying and angry emojis, recent data has shown that a point system was attributed to the change, with some reactions being worth more points than others.
This was supposed to create a more engaging environment where posts that got more reactions would be seen by more people, which in turn makes Facebook more money.
However, this turned out to be a double-edged sword, as Facebook overlooked the one fatal flaw this system had embedded in it, the negative reaction emojis.
This means that provocative posts which got strong reactions out of people would reach a larger audience than those with a larger amount of likes, regardless of the content at hand.
Facebook staff spoke up on the matter, confirming the connection between the negative reaction emojis and their frequency on posts containing misinformation, low-quality news, or just straight-up phishing scams or similar.
This created a situation where Facebook is currently under investigation for promoting hateful content for over 3 years, which even if it was an honest mistake, is far too long of a timespan to be dismissable.
In fact, this practice only increased the amount of work for Facebook’s team of human content moderators, which the social media giant has recently announced it plans to get rid of as it is becoming too expensive to pay for their work.
The UK’s stance on the matter
A Facebook critic and whistleblower Frances Haugen took recently stated, in an interview in London that Facebook was unmistakenly the sole cause of the increase in hate speech and hateful content online, all due to its habit to prioritize extreme content.
She accused those responsible for the creation of the system, of negligibility and claimed that they were subsiding hate with their business model.
Miss Haugen continued, taking on the topic of Instagram as well, claiming it will never be a safe environment for children and minors as numerous studies have shown concerning numbers of Instagram addicts in the demographic.
Finally, after commenting on the matter at hand, Haugen exclaimed that now is the perfect time to address the issue of social media in Britain, urging those in charge to make much-needed improvements.
Mark Zuckerberg continues to present false data yet again
When inquired on the matter, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg refuted these claims, brushing them off as Haugen misrepresenting the company’s business practices.
He pointed at the most recent statistics showing a 97% decrease in hate speech and related content on the platform, but as usual, with Facebook, the numbers never add up, as staff members have revealed that the algorithm only removes posts with 3-5% hate speech involvement.
Zuckerberg also added that the claim how Facebook promotes harmful content with its reaction point system is completely untrue as a large cut of its revenue comes from ads, and almost all advertisers refuse to have negative reactions to their product posts.
Another piece of important data is that nearly 20% of the world’s ten-year-olds are on the platform, despite the minimum age being 13, a matter Zuckerberg refused to comment on.
As it stands, many agreed with Haugen that a system that employs artificial intelligence to deal with hate speech would never be fully functional, and drastic changes need to be made.
Finally, a Facebook spokesman added that they are constantly working on reducing the amount of hate speech on the platform, cutting it in half only in the last 3 quarters.
He also added that they are very pleased with the UK’s decision to pass the online safety bill as it presents a step in the right direction.