2 min readFacebook upgrades AI to control COVID-19 misinformation and hate speech

Will the new AI do as it was programmed to do? Will it exceed the expectations of researchers?

This November 20, 2020 article written by Devin Coldewey for Tech  Crunch details the various advances utilized by Facebook’s AI in filtering COVID-19 misinformation and hate speech. Some of the notable advances are in the language analysis system which now has the capacity to understand the different interactions between text, images, and text in images.

To measure their success, Facebook uses prevalence, the actual frequency of users encountering a given type of content, as an indicator. To explain their censorship approach, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said, “If we take down a thousand pieces of content that people were never going to see anyway, it doesn’t matter. If I take down the one piece of content that was about to go viral, that’s a massive success.”

The changes in Facebook’s AI systems allows it to remove news items and hate speech even before Facebook’s own content moderators see those items.

Editor’s Note: Most people might laud the improvement in Facebook’s AI, but there is something in this development that pushes us to be cautious. For one, how does the computer system ensure that it does not delete constitutionally protected speech? How can one be sure that the system is not deleting information that can save the lives of people?

When it comes to COVID-19, we all know what “misinformation” truly means. Any information that contradicts the mainstream narrative promoted by the World Health Organization are all tagged as false news. What this means essentially is that Facebook (indeed, all Big Tech companies) have hailed WHO to have the monopoly of truth about COVID-19. Never mind that WHO has made mistakes in the past. It doesn’t matter that those who are opposing the official WHO narrative are experts in their own right.

This latest update in Facebook AI reveals much about the values of the company. It is no longer about promoting free speech, allowing people to access information they wouldn’t find elsewhere, and connecting people to the audience that needs to hear them. It is all about control. Facebook controls its platform, and the beliefs of its executives are imposed on its users. There is no true freedom of speech in Facebook.

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Facebook details AI advances in catching misinformation and hate speech – TechCrunch

Facebook details AI advances in catching misinformation and hate speech – TechCrunch

Facebook’s battle against misinformation will never be over at this rate, but that doesn’t mean the company has given up. On the contrary it is only by dint of constant improvement to its automated systems that it is able to keep itself even remotely free of hate speech and misinformati…


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