Meta released the first report on human rights

Deepak Gupta July 16, 2022
Updated 2022/07/16 at 8:25 PM

Meta is often the subject of scrutiny, being accused of not considering the lives of the users of its platforms. Now, the company has released the first annual report on human rights.

The report covers an audit carried out in 2020 and 2021.

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On Thursday, the Facebook owner published the first annual report on human rights. This, after consecutive years of accusations alleging that the company was ignoring the online abuse that consequently fueled violence, notably in places like India and Myanmar.

According to Reuters, the report covers information regarding an audit carried out during 2020 and 2021, including a summary of the controversial human rights impact assessment in India, which Meta commissioned from the firm Foley Hoag.

Reuters explains that several human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have demanded the publication of this assessment of India in full. In addition, in a joint letter, they accused Meta of stalling the process.

In turn, Meta revealed that the firm had detected “prominent human rights risks” involving the company’s platforms, including “advocacy against hatred that incites hostility, discrimination, or violence”. More than that, he noted that the evaluation did not take into account "accusations of partiality in the moderation of the content".

Goal

In the opinion of Deborah Brown of Human Rights Watch, the summary was “selective” and regretted that it “does not bring us closer” to the goal: understanding Meta’s role in the spread of hate speech in India or realizing the commitment it will make to solving the problem. .

For Ratik Asokan, a representative of India Civil Watch International who participated in the evaluation and later organized the joint letter, the summary only served Meta to try to “whitewash” the conclusions.

It's the clearest evidence you can get that they're very uncomfortable with the information that's in this report. At least show the courage to release the executive summary so we can see what the independent law firm said.

Goal report on human rights

In its report, Meta announced that it was studying the recommendations regarding India. However, it has not assumed that it will implement them.

The report format can be influenced by a variety of factors, including security reasons.

Said Meta director for human rights Miranda Sissons, when asked why Meta did not make a commitment as it has done before.

In addition to country-level assessments, Meta's report outlined the work of Sissons' team during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as at the time of the announcement of Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses (signalling possible privacy risks and effects on vulnerable groups). ).

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