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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Facebook’s 2019 India experiment paints damning picture of gore, fake news - Economic Times

Last updated Saturday, October 23, 2021 23:53 ET , Source: TopWireNews

Bengaluru: In February 2019, Facebook Inc. set up a test account in India to determine how its own algorithms affect what people see in one of its fastest growing and most important overseas markets. The results stunned the company’s own staff.
Within three weeks, the new user’s feed turned into a maelstrom of fake news and incendiary images. There were graphic photos of beheadings, doctored images of India air strikes against Pakistan and jingoistic scenes of violence. One group for “things that make you laugh” included fake news of 300 terrorists who died in a bombing in Pakistan.
“I’ve seen more images of dead people in the past three weeks than I’ve seen in my entire life total,” one staffer wrote, according to a 46-page research note that’s among the trove of documents released by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.
The test proved telling because it was designed to focus exclusively on Facebook’s role in recommending content. The trial account used the profile of a 21-year-old woman living in Jaipur and hailing from Hyderabad. The user only followed pages or groups recommended by Facebook or encountered through those recommendations. The experience was termed an “integrity nightmare”, by the author of the research note.
While Haugen’s disclosures have painted a damning picture of Facebook’s role in spreading harmful content in the US, the India experiment suggests that the social media company’s influence globally could be even worse. Most of the money Facebook...



Read Full Story: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/technology/facebooks-2019-india-experiment-paints-damning-picture-of-gore-fake-news/articleshow/87233987.cms

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