Friday, 16 June 2017
Facebook wants users' help with 'Hard Questions' on content, censorship and safety
Social media's biggest platform announced that it's looking for input on how to manage the content that its close to two billion users are contributing, for better and for worse. Facebook has released a list of seven "Hard Questions" that address some of the most complicated issues facing the platform, kicking off a series of blog posts that will focus on and explain the company's reasoning for each issue in turn. The site also encouraged its users to provide their feedback on the big issues, inviting suggestions and even ideas for new big questions via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a blog post, Facebook’s VP of public policy and communications Elliot Schrage explained the reasons for the company's new and deliberately interactive framework for making the platform a safer, more factual place. "As more and more of our lives extend online, and digital technologies transform how we live, we all face challenging new questions--everything from how best to safeguard personal privacy online to the meaning of free expression to the future of journalism worldwide."
He continued, "We debate these questions fiercely and freely inside Facebook every day--and with experts from around the world whom we consult for guidance. We take seriously our responsibility--and accountability--for our impact and influence."
The 'hard questions' which Facebook will address in the coming months, which TechCrunch helpfully breaks down and contextualizes, are:
• How should platforms approach keeping terrorists from spreading propaganda online?
• After a person dies, what should happen to their online identity?
• How aggressively should social media companies monitor and remove controversial posts and images from their platforms? Who gets to decide what’s controversial, especially in a global community with a multitude of cultural norms?
• Who gets to define what’s false news — and what’s simply controversial political speech?
• Is social media good for democracy?
• How can we use data for everyone’s benefit, without undermining people’s trust?
• How should young internet users be introduced to new ways to express themselves in a safe environment?