Facebook and Instagram release report on human rights protection efforts

For years, Meta has been heavily criticized for a business model that has been accused of prioritizing extremist content in an effort to grab users’ attention.

Social media giant Meta, whose platforms including Facebook and Instagram regularly face concerns about their impact on civil liberties and democracy, released its first annual report on its efforts to protect human rights on Thursday.

For years, Meta has been heavily criticized for a business model that has been accused of prioritizing extremist content in an effort to grab users’ attention.

Its executives have taken steps to tackle misinformation and improve content moderation, but those efforts were undermined last year when whistleblower Francis Haugen leaked internal documents and testified that the company put profits ahead of it. user safety.

The new report covers the years 2020 and 2021 and looks at actions taken by Facebook and Instagram to tackle issues such as misinformation around Covid-19, as well as a summary of previously published studies such as those on the US elections. and philippines.

It also addresses the issue of data protection.

“The report explains how our data policy, law enforcement response team and due diligence assessments work together to protect people from unlawful or overly broad government surveillance,” a statement read. of the Silicon Valley giant.

Meta, like fellow tech titan Google, was recently challenged by politicians, NGOs and journalists over the data protection of women seeking abortions in the United States after the United States Supreme Court struck down the last month the constitutional right to process.

Abortion rights groups fear that tech companies will be forced to hand over the data of women who have requested access to care in US states where abortion is now banned or heavily restricted.

“Our human rights policy indicates that we must interpret government requests narrowly,” Miranda Sissons, Meta’s human rights director, told AFP.

“Where there is a gap between local and international standards, we should seek to meet international standards as much as possible,” she added, without specifying what this means for American citizens, including women who wish to abort.

The report mentions that if a request does not comply with the law or Meta’s regulations, the company will “push back” against it.

The report also “highlights the important role that end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp plays in protecting the privacy of people – especially journalists and human rights defenders – and how we are extending it to our other messaging apps,” the Meta statement added. .

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