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Facebook Users Look For Answers As Company’s AI Goes Haywire After Moderators Were Sent Home

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Facebook said Tuesday a bug in the company’s anti-spam system that is randomly and mistakenly flagging user content is unrelated to any changes in the workforce due to coronavirus.

Twitter users tweeted images of a warning they received from Facebook suggesting their content violated company policies against spam. The content was flagged due to a bug rather than a lack of human oversight caused by social distancing, according to one Facebook security official.

“We’re on this – this is a bug in an anti-spam system, unrelated to any changes in our content moderator workforce. We’re in the process of fixing and bringing all these posts back. More soon,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of safety and integrity, said in a tweet addressing the complaints.

Rosen was responding to a tweet Tuesday night from Facebook’s former head of security, Alex Stamos, who said from his vantage point the problem looks like “an anti-spam rule at FB is going haywire.”

Stamos added: “We might be seeing the start of the ML going nuts with less human oversight.” He also reminded people on Twitter that Facebook sent home their content moderators on Monday over concerns related to the coronavirus.

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone directed the Daily Caller News Foundation to Rosen’s tweet for further explanation.

Twitter and Google’s YouTube were among the big tech companies to announce Monday that their artificial intelligence tools will now be taking on more responsibility for content moderation due to social distancing.

“We’re working to improve our tech,” Twitter noted in a statement, adding that “this might result in some mistakes.” Big tech companies often blame artificial intelligence system for mistakenly nixing or impacting user content that does not in any way violate Twitter’s policies.

Twitter, for instance, suggested in April 2019 that the auto system was partially to blame for the suspension of a pro-life group.

“When an account violates the Twitter Rules, the system looks for linked accounts to mitigate things like ban evasion,” a company spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation in April 2019. “In this case, the account was mistakenly caught in our automated systems for ban evasion.”

The spokeswoman was referring to an account called “Unplanned,” which promoted a movie about a former abortion clinic director who became pro-life. The system is designed to suspend so-called sock-puppet accounts connected to a profile that violated company policies, according to the spokeswoman.

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One Comment

  1. Something going on at Google search. Have you noticed…. when searching a topic I have noticed many times the first response in googles list of responses is a NY Times article. If you click on this top placed position you are brought to the NYTimes and shown the articles head lines and then an advertisement below telling you to purchase a subscription if you want to read article. This has happened to me quite a bit. The Times site offered by Goggle indicates that it is not an Ad when viewed on search list. This is creepy and a huge waste of time for clients. They do this on purpose. Wonder what the Times is paying Google? We have to break up Googles holdings, they are sleazy.

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