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(605 posts)
Tue Nov 21, 2023, 06:30 PM Nov 2023

Facebook approved Israeli ad calling assassination [View all]

After the ad was discovered, digital rights advocates ran an experiment testing the limits of Facebook’s machine-learning moderation.


A series of advertisements dehumanizing and calling for violence against Palestinians, intended to test Facebook’s content moderation standards, were all approved by the social network, according to materials shared with The Intercept.

The submitted ads, in both Hebrew and Arabic, included flagrant violations of policies for Facebook and its parent company Meta. Some contained violent content directly calling for the murder of Palestinian civilians, like ads demanding a “holocaust for the Palestinians” and to wipe out “Gazan women and children and the elderly.” Other posts, like those describing kids from Gaza as “future terrorists” and a reference to “Arab pigs,” contained dehumanizing language.

“The approval of these ads is just the latest in a series of Meta’s failures towards the Palestinian people,” Nadim Nashif, founder of the Palestinian social media research and advocacy group 7amleh, which submitted the test ads, told The Intercept. “Throughout this crisis, we have seen a continued pattern of Meta’s clear bias and discrimination against Palestinians.”

7amleh’s idea to test Facebook’s machine-learning censorship apparatus arose last month, when Nashif discovered an ad on his Facebook feed explicitly calling for the assassination of American activist Paul Larudee, a co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement. Facebook’s automatic translation of the text ad read: “It’s time to assassinate Paul Larudi [sic], the anti-Semitic and ‘human rights’ terrorist from the United States.” Nashif reported the ad to Facebook, and it was taken down.
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