Monday 6 August at 8:30pm
The undercover investigation exposing how Facebook decides what you see.
“Video of someone dying is not necessarily going to be a delete but it might be a ‘Mark as Disturbing’.” Trainer
Facebook says it’s on a mission to be the place where people connect and “bring the world closer together”. More than a billion people are on the social networking site every day, posting their thoughts, pictures, and videos. But alongside the family photos and FOMO inducing holiday videos is content that is truly disturbing.
“That’s self-harm. And they look fresh, those cuts.” Moderator
The decision making by Facebook over what it will, or will not allow on its platform has been opaque, until now.
“Just bear in mind that we all have to follow the Facebook policy no matter what our personal opinions are. We have to follow this.” Trainer
A British investigation has exposed the inner workings of the social media giant to reveal how and why content moderation decisions are made.
“If you start censoring too much then people lose interest in the platform.” Moderator
An undercover reporter, training as a content moderator, is taken through the rules of the network, secretly filming the process, as judgements are made on everything from child abuse to the human consumption of live rats and the racist ranting of a far-right activists.
“‘He looks after stinking Muslim immigrants’ – I think that’s fine.” Moderator
The film, which premiered in Britain three weeks ago, caused uproar in the UK and prompted an apology from Facebook for the practices revealed.
“It’s for spreading awareness. If they wanted to put up ‘This is what these girls did’ or ‘Look, I want to find these girls and bring them to justice’…It would be unfair for Facebook to say you can’t have it on the site.” Moderator
And it examines the consequences for people personally affected by Facebook’s decision making.
“My friend phoned me up and she’s like, ‘have you been on Facebook’? And she’s like, ‘there’s a video of your daughter’.” Mother
Concerns about Facebook’s practices and its business model have prompted one of its early influential backers to issue a warning.
“When you have $40 billion in sales and tens of billions of profit per year you pretty much have an obligation to do everything in your power to make sure that you’re not making the world worse for the users of your product.” Facebook investor and mentor to Mark Zuckerberg
Inside Facebook, from Ch 4 Dispatches, presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 6th August at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 7th August at 1.00pm and Wednesday 8th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.