The company publicly claims its AI is amazing at removing harmful content, but internal documents suggest they know the algorithm is ineffective.
In public, Facebook seems to claim that it removes more than 90 percent of hate speech on its platform, but in private internal communications the company says the figure is only an atrocious 3 to 5 percent. Facebook wants us to believe that almost all hate speech is taken down, when in reality almost all of it remains on the platform.
This obscene hypocrisy was revealed amid the numerous complaints, based on thousands of pages of leaked internal documents, which Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen and her legal team filed to the SEC earlier this month. While public attention on these leaks has focused on Instagram’s impact on teen health (which is hardly the smoking gun it’s been touted as) and on the News Feed algorithm’s role in amplifying misinformation (hardly a revelation), Facebook’s utter failure to limit hate speech and the simple deceptive trick it’s consistently relied on to hide this failure is shocking. It exposes just how much Facebook relies on AI for content moderation, just how ineffective that AI is, and the necessity to force Facebook to come clean.