A study concluded that there was poor moderation of comments on Facebook in France

Offensive, racist, homophobic, sexist comments, which remain online after being reported to Facebook moderation: the German NGO HateAid published jointly with the Licra (International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism), Thursday March 10 , the results of a large-scale “testing” carried out at the end of 2021 which revealed shortcomings in the moderation of the main social network.

HateAid, which had conducted a similar study in Germany in the run-up to the 2021 legislative elections, automatically collected 2.4 million comments posted on French Facebook pages devoted to political and current affairs topics. Using an automated learning tool, they selected 280 comments deemed particularly violent or toxic, which were then reported to Facebook’s moderation services, using the option offered by the social network.

Several months after these reports, 70% of these comments were still online, notes the NGO, which notes that the overwhelming majority of the comments reported were contrary not only to Facebook’s rules of use, but also to French law. “Our lawyers have shown that 94% of reported comments that have not been deleted are against the law”, writes HateAid. According to the findings of the Worldposts that had not been moderated, and which were deleted by Facebook this week, did indeed contain a large proportion of insults (“Big whore goes back to sucking cocks”) and rape and death threats (“And a bullet in your fag face, would that be enough?” »), to meet public figures or other Internet users.

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HateAid and the Licra also recall that in four out of five cases, Internet users who reported the comments were not kept informed of the social network’s decision within twenty-four hours, contrary to Facebook’s commitments. In a few cases, comments were deleted without the person who reported them being informed, contrary to the social network’s normal practice.

These figures are significantly worse than those obtained, with a similar methodology, during the previous study conducted by HateAid on comments in German – during this other “testing”, 50% of the contentious comments had been deleted in 24 hours. They are also significantly worse than those obtained by the European Commission, which regularly measures the effectiveness of the moderation of hateful content by the main social networks.

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