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Facebook: It was an ‘error’ to remove photo of two men kissing

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  1. Brian Latham 2 Jan 2014, 1:19pm

    Religious zealots seemed to have infiltrated Facebook’s moderators, applying their narrow view of what is acceptable.

  2. I would like to know if this was a technical error or an error of judgement.

    1. I was under the impression that it was reported as spam by several people and that is why it was removed. If Facebook had human moderators instead of an automated system, it would have never happened.

  3. It’s fine to call it a mistake after the fact, but still, someone who works at facebook saw the photo and decided it was offensive. Or is that not how it works?

    1. BlokeToys 2 Jan 2014, 1:28pm

      It seems that it’s an automated system. If an image receives enough reports it’s automatically removed. The problem is that there are hate groups which target pages like Have A Gay Day to report their content and there is nothing the admins can do about it.

      There is no “right to reply” through Facebook when these things happen. Unless you get press coverage or someone with influence has someone they can contact at FB you have to accept the punishment without argument.

      PN haven’t mentioned here that the Have A Gay Day Page has now been given protection as a “trusted page” and the right wing crazies can report whatever they want without it leading to this happening again.

  4. BlokeToys 2 Jan 2014, 1:25pm

    As I understand it, when an image receives enough reports the automatic systems take over and delete the reported image while blocking the admins of the page where it originated.

    This in itself is understandable, because the staff needed to field all of these things manually would not be possible. Facebook would have to pay an entire town of staff to monitor and manage all of these things if they were manual.

    Now the problem is that there is no method for people who use Facebook to challenge this automatic system. There is no “contact facebook about this” button. If you are blocked from your own page because a bunch of right-wing fanatics are on the attack, there’s little you can do about it.

    This was only reversed because George Takei had his people contact FB to explain the situation, and they agreed that it was a mistake.

    They have to have staff in place and a method of contacting them to resolve these things. It’s far too easy for an organized hate group to attack people.

    1. You said it perfectly. I suspecgted that there was some sort of automation involved, and (much like slogging through a phone automated menu), reports get funneled down and pared away until some are actually viewed by human (or humanoid) eyes for a determination.
      Having a staff look at reported images all day, while it sounds lik eever-so-much fun, isn’t feasible. I don’t imagine following up on and monitoring content on FB is a simple thing. I’m betting 98% of it is all computer, and the other 2% is actual human eyes looking at stuff. Factor in the thin skins on a lot of online users, plus the incompetency of the average staffer moderating/monitoring, and well…screw-ups a-plenty.
      I had someone report an image I had posted, and it was a fine art painting.
      So yeah, there are some real dim bulbs out there.

    2. How sad is it that somebody famous had to step in to get it fixed? What does that say about Facebook?

    3. Frank Boulton 5 Jan 2014, 4:28am

      Bloke Toys wrote: “This in itself is understandable, because the staff needed to field all of these things manually would not be possible. Facebook would have to pay an entire town of staff to monitor and manage all of these things if they were manual.”

      If Kim Dotcom can be held accountable for the content of his website Megaupload, then I don’t see why FaceBook can’t be held accountable for their content or lack of it. I don’t buy into the idea that business ethics is too expensive.

  5. One of the many reason I do NOT use facebook anymore.

  6. A mistake they keep making with an insincere apology after the fact!!

  7. Tom Cotner 2 Jan 2014, 2:42pm

    Facebook IS an error. Period.

  8. I’m not sure who at Facebook you’re talking to but as the owner of Have A Gay Day they are lying. I would like to mention that as I sat on my blocked account and talked with George Takei’s staff that Facebook removed my account block so I could again post to the page. Until that time as my personal account is linked with my page I could not post. I did however create a second facebook account so I could post. I do love the play on words but they are flat out lying or at least playing on words to make it seem like I wasn’t restricted from posting. smh -Michael -Have A Gay Day

  9. I don’t buy the explanation given below because no matter how many people complain about pro-rape pages and groups which in my view are far more offensive, those pages and groups are seldom if ever taken down.

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