Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has over 2 billion users. Monitoring the content and removing objectionable content or posts involving hate content manually is a difficult task. To effectively handle this task, Facebook roped in AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered algorithms. However, in the recent European court of justice (ECJ) ruling, it is clear that Facebook’s much-touted AI-based algorithms are not capable of detecting defamatory or abusive or hate content. They are no longer competent in eliminating prohibited content.
Facebook fails to remove 2016 post
ECJ gave the controversial judgment in early October 2019, in a case filed by Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, an Austrian Green politician, against the failure of Facebook to remove the post that dates back to 2016. In 2016, an anonymous user of the Facebook published an article from a newspaper in Australia that discusses the views of Eva and her party together with comments that include words: fascist, corrupt, and traitor.
Eva approached Facebook through a local court after the social media giant failed to reveal the identity of the user or remove the post. The court directed Facebook to remove the post and each reposting of each verbatim. Facebook has to implement this ruling worldwide. Challenging the verdict, Facebook approached the highest court in Europe, but it supported the lower court ruling. Hence, Facebook has to remove the post globally. The verdict received extensive criticism from across the world about how a single EU nation can decide which content is to be viewed in another country.
The utter failure of the automated tools
It mandated that Facebook should use automated tools/ filters to detect posts that are regarded as equivalent or identical content. However, the perfect legal posts on the social media platform evade the eyes of AI-Powered tools because they fail to identify the subtle distinction in the sentiment or the context of the post.
Executive Director (Freedom of speech campaigners Article 19), Thomas Hughes said the ruling has a significant effect on the freedom of expression worldwide online. Forcing social media companies like Facebook to remove the posts automatically regardless of the context restricts the information available on the web. The ruling has not taken into account the technical limitations of AI-powered tools and filters.
Facebook is the number one social media platform for consumers and marketers. It helps to generate better ROIs for social ads. The company is putting in manual efforts to eliminate fake content without affecting the posts of businesses.