On a similar vein, I started working a couple months ago with a Reuters reporter about Facebook content moderation in the Arabic-speaking world, specifically with respect to LGBTQ issues.

I have a lot of Lebanese and Lebanese-American friends who brought serious concerns to me about how Facebook routinely allows anti-LGBTQ slurs, insults, and even explicit calls to violence in its Arabic-language content.

Part of what I’ve learned is that much of the content moderation is being handled in North Africa, in many cases by people who lack expertise in the various dialects they are supposed to be moderating.

And when they do understand, they seem to tolerate content that on its face clearly violates Facebook’s community standards.

In this case, the problem is clearly the contract moderators, but less than clear is how to solve the problem.

Facebook doesn’t seem to have a great deal of concern about what’s going on, and bringing people in-house wouldn’t necessarily change anything. But as you say, it would surely be a start. It would surely do some good.

What I really wonder though, is if Facebook senior management is actually committed to enforcing its community standards.

It often feels like the answer to that question is no.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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