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Auditors claim Facebook has been doing a terrible job at basically everything

The report details Civil Rights issues, Donald Trump, and more.

Facebook's mark zuckerberg
Image: KnowTechie

We probably don’t need auditors to tell us that Facebook sucks, but at least it gives us more ammunition in future discussions arguments that are bound to pop up. Now, according to a new 89-page audit by civil rights expert Laura Murphy and Megan Cacace, a partner in the civil rights law firm Relman Colfax, we’re getting a better idea of how Facebook’s systems and rulings have failed users on the platform.

From the 2-year study approved by Facebook, auditors note that the study’s mission is to “identify, prioritize, and implement sustained and comprehensive improvements to the way it [Facebook] impacts civil rights.” And the results are…less than encouraging.

According to The New York Times, and based on information from the audit, it shows just how much Facebook has struggled to keep content on its platform under control. Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, recently came under fire after saying Facebook shouldn’t be an “arbiter of truth,” but this new report shows just how damaging that stance can be. The audit goes as far as to say that this stance could affect the upcoming presidential election, something that Facebook has actively tried to avoid for years.

The audit notes that Facebook has improved some of its policies, including those pertaining to voter suppression, but that “recent decisions about Trump posts related to mail-in-ballots in Michigan and Nevada on May 20 and California on May 26 threaten that progress and permit others to use the platform to spread damaging misinformation about voting.”

The audit also claims that Facebook didn’t follow its own policies in place in regards to a handful of posts made by Donald Trump, noting that “Facebook’s failure to remove the Trump voting-related posts and close enforcement gaps seems to reflect a statement of values that protecting free expression is more important than other stated company values.”

Civil Rights activists, former and current employees, and elected officials have all voiced their concerns, according to the auditors. This has led to calls of not only boycotting Facebook, but also encouraging advertisers to not support the company financially through ads. That last part is already happening, but is it enough?

The report is not all bad, however. It does note that the company has been making strides over the past two years to improve on these aspects, stating that Facebook has been hiring more Civil Rights experts to help understand the complexities surrounding the issues. Even so, much of the report basically details how Facebook has been making minor changes, but that they aren’t enough.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, notes in a Facebook post regarding the audit, “We [Facebook] have made real progress over the years, but this work is never finished and we know what a big responsibility Facebook has to get better at finding and removing hateful content.”

I’ll believe it when I see it.

What do you think? Do you feel the company has a problem with the content it allows on the platform? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Former KnowTechie editor.

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