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Offline NudieDaniel

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Another Facebook photo fail
« on: May 05, 2018, 12:07:52 am »
From Mediawatch, 9:07 am on 29 April 2018

Colin Peacock - mediawatch@radionz.co.nz & @MediawatchNZ

Facebook said it would rethink the way it applies its ‘community standards’ to news after it was mocked for censoring a famous Vietnam War photo in 2016. Two years later, it’s happened again in Vanuatu. 


Vanuatu Daily Post's tongue-in-cheek effort to comply with Facebook's 'community standards' policy. Photo: screenshot

Facebook has been under fire for some time for distributing misinformation and fake news to a potential audience of around two billion users. Only now is it making a concerted effort to filter it out.

But Facebook has also faced criticism for the ways in which it has filtered the news in the past. 

Back in September 2016, it censored a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of the Vietnam war.

A Norwegian writer posted Nick Ut’s famous picture of severely burned nine year-old Vietnamese girl Kim Phuc fleeing a napalm attack in 1972.  It was part of an online discussion about photographs that had changed history.

Facebook quickly deleted his post and suspended his account, claiming he had violated Facebook’s content standards which prohibit most forms of nudity.

Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten then wrote about this on its own Facebook page - and that was summarily deleted by Facebook too.

Norway's Prime Minister posted the image on her own official Facebook account. Facebook deleted that as well.

An American technology company had censored a foreign head of state, and struck out a sovereign government’s communications.

Under the headline "Listen, Mark, this is serious” Aftenposten’s editor-in-chief called out Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg on the newspaper's front page and online.

Eventually Facebook took the photograph off its blacklist and said: "We'll keep working to make Facebook an open platform for all ideas.”

Last weekend the Vanuatu Daily Post newspaper published a two-page spread on the growing influence of Indonesia and China in the Melanesian region. It was written by journalist and photographer Ben Bohane who lives in Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila and runs picture agency Wakaphoto.


Ben Bohane's story in the Vanuatu Daily Post - and his photo which fell foul of Facebook's policy. Photo: screenshot / Vanuatu Daily Post website

Ben illustrated his story with one of his own pictures taken in 1995. It shows fighters from the Free Papua Movement and several other men wearing traditional protective penis sheaths - called nambas.

The article was subsequently republished by  the Pacific Media Centre at the Auckland University of Technology on Monday. 

Facebook alerts on the newsfeeds of Ben Bohane, Vanuatu Daily Post, the Pacific Media Centre and its director Professor David Robie were all removed by Facebook, which said that featured image had breached its "community standards” policy.

On Tuesday, Ben Bohane posted his picture featuring the men in the nambas again and was immediately notified that the content has been removed again. He was blocked from posting anything on Facebook for 24 hours.

“Memo to Facebook – this is how Papuans live! Your ‘Community Standards’ obviously don’t include Melanesian culture,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the Vanuatu Daily Post re-edited Ben Bohane’s story online to avoid falling foul of Facebook’s policy.

The image is still there but a black box appears over the top where the nambas could once be seen, with these words in white:

    THIS IMAGE was censored by FACEBOOK’s COMMUNITY STANDARDS

And off to the side:

    Happy now, Facebook?

The problem is millions of Facebook's users are unhappy with Facebook for episodes like this.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018642361/another-facebook-photo-fail
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Offline kb2001

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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 12:48:13 am »
I think Facebook has every right to do what they did. They are the owners. They are allowed to make their own rules.

Having said that, I don't think I have been on Facebook in over a month now. I don't like their rules. I don't like how they monitor everything I do. I'm moving on. This article proves to me that I made the right decision.

And just for the record my icon on the left says I am 17, but I won't be 17 for another 3 hours and 10 minutes.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 12:51:12 am by kb2001 »

Offline Silver651

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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2018, 07:08:33 am »
I think people need to understand how huge of a task moderating Facebook content is. We're talking about at least 300 million new pictures EACH DAY.

Facebook is using algorithms to check pictures that could break its rules, nudity, gore, propaganda.. But it's not, and will never be perfect. So some things go through, some get deleted without any reason...

When reported, the content is verified manually by a Facebook employee : but here we're talking about some guy in a third world country that check content their whole day for a miserable salary, can we really blame them for not making a difference between nudity, art nudity, child nudity....?

When articles like this pop, I imagine angry people picturing Mark Zuckerberg actually looking at the picture like "Yeah... No I don't like this picture, let's censor it"

That's just not how it works, and you should know it if you want to use Facebook, it's not a public service after all, it's a company and you use their product (and for free)

I'm defending Facebook and all similar HUGE platforms, because I'm in tech and people need to realize all this. But I do not use Facebook :)

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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2018, 08:15:59 am »
With the quasi-monopoly Facebook has these days - so many businesses relying on their service that users do not really have a choice whether to engage with FB or not, only how much they engage - I feel like "their site, their rules", owner's privilege and such is not the same absolute that it would be for a smaller site.

Also, regardless of whether they have the right to do something, we do not have to support them. Facebook might not charge money for using their service, but they still profit from it through the collection of personal information to use in their advertising business (and to sell to dodgy partners, apparently). And if enough users could band together, this relationship could be exploited to petition Facebook into relaxing their censorship policy and only delete downright illegal stuff. I doubt that would be possible though, since those who care already provide FB with as little data as possible and enough people do not care.
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Offline Silver651

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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2018, 08:48:56 am »
Sure, I agree on that. But I think it's tricky, what's illegal or not is different in many countries. I think they would need more skilled workforce to take care of moderation, and even then, there would ALWAYS be mistakes.

What I'm trying to say is that Facebook does not intentionnally hate nudity. It reminds me when Google's algorithm mistook some black people on a picture for chimpanzees. Of course it's offensive, but does it mean Google is racist ? Absolutely not.

Frankly I wish more people were willing to pay for services they get. Now, everyone expects free stuff and this is not good, since companies will always find a way to get that money, one way or another.

And yes, people should be more aware on the business they're part of. Especially when they're introducing their new "assistants" (I'm talking about those new smart speakers), I think this is huge and basically the dream of every advertising company. Wake up !

Offline NudieDaniel

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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2018, 10:40:17 am »
Sure, I agree on that. But I think it's tricky, what's illegal or not is different in many countries. I think they would need more skilled workforce to take care of moderation, and even then, there would ALWAYS be mistakes.

What I'm trying to say is that Facebook does not intentionnally hate nudity. It reminds me when Google's algorithm mistook some black people on a picture for chimpanzees. Of course it's offensive, but does it mean Google is racist ? Absolutely not.

Frankly I wish more people were willing to pay for services they get. Now, everyone expects free stuff and this is not good, since companies will always find a way to get that money, one way or another.

And yes, people should be more aware on the business they're part of. Especially when they're introducing their new "assistants" (I'm talking about those new smart speakers), I think this is huge and basically the dream of every advertising company. Wake up !

Facebook has strictest nudity policy of any social media platform with exceptions put in after a deletion becomes a PR problem which properly does make it confusing for their moderators to know what are or aren't exceptions to the no nudity rule. If Twitter did this it would be news as well since journalists use Twitter at a greater rate than the rest of us. Twiter's moderation isn't much better it's outsourced like Facebook's is and just as ill-equipped to deal with issues on the platform. So it's facebook's own policy that causes this. I'm sure this photo will be added to the ok list and then they will scramble once again when the next photo of journalistic value is deleted.


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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2018, 11:32:07 am »
I think incidents like this point out how much society paints nudity with it's own stigma.  To silver's point, the algorithms weren't wrong.  Society has just arbitrarily decided that some level of nudity is ok for some circumstances.  It seems like the line should be sexual vs nonsexual instead of this culture versus another culture.

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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2018, 11:50:29 am »
I think incidents like this point out how much society paints nudity with it's own stigma.  To silver's point, the algorithms weren't wrong.  Society has just arbitrarily decided that some level of nudity is ok for some circumstances.  It seems like the line should be sexual vs nonsexual instead of this culture versus another culture.

I'm not sure that works either. I've seen a lot of non-nude things that are extremely sexual. We just have to accept sex and nudity both as a core part of all of us.

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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2018, 11:54:15 am »
Algorithms are smart and dumb at the same time. They can be incredibly powerful for "easy tasks", like detecting a face, a car. But it has no morals. How does an algorithm make a difference between a art picture of a naked woman and a naked woman doing a sexual pose ? That's where the problem is, there is no room for subtility with such a huge amount of content, it's either nudity everywhere or no nudity at all

And those algorithms aren't even perfect, I stumbled across a naked man as a profile picture. Not sexual or anything. But this guy was in "Teen dating groups" and was at least 40 or 50. Should that be tolerated too ? Where do you draw the line ?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 11:56:21 am by Silver651 »

Offline Silver651

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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 04:44:50 am »
by Fb’s insanely stupid AI algorithms (AND moderators) which still can’t even apply its OWN community standards!

Say what you want about their policy but that's just not fair. People don't realize how big of a task this whole thing is, at that scale there's is absolutely no way there's not going to be "fails".

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Re: Another Facebook photo fail
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 06:13:55 pm »
Facebook is not consistent with how it applies its standards in a number of areas. This is the kind of reason why objective boards can actually do a better job of determining how things should be rated than businesses themselves can. They take things like culture into account.
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