Meta's moderation is failing and people are getting killed

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An Iraqi historian was slain after being labeled a spy on Facebook. Exclusive emails show catastrophic delays in removing threatening posts.

United States News, United States Headlines

An icon in the shape of a person's head and shoulders. It often indicates a user profile.On July 6, 2020, as the prominent Iraqi historian Hisham al-Hashimi was walking toward his vehicle outside his home in eastern Baghdad, a group ofOften an outspoken critic of the country's militia groups, al-Hashimi wasviral posts on Facebook and other social-media

One post from April 2019, which wrongly claimed al-Hashimi was an al-Qaida leader, was never taken down. Al-Saadi flagged it, but Meta replied that the post did not violate the company's policies."One of the reasons for his killing was Meta," al-Saadi told Insider.Al-Saadi isn't alone. Facebook and its parent company, Meta, have faced fierce criticism for failing to adequately moderate the platform.

Meta did not respond to a request for comment on either the death of al-Hashimi or Internews' report. Paul Barrett, Deputy Director of the Center for Business and Human Rights, NYU Stern School of Business The report, based on a survey of 24 trusted partners, including al-Saadi, suggests that trusted partners working around the world are met with severely delayed and"erratic" response times when flagging hate speech and other harmful content, as well as imminent threats to people's lives.

"The stakes here are the protection of individuals, how countries are able to sustain their political systems, or risks to public health," Barrett said. Internews found that participating in the trusted-partner program, in many cases, increased the risks to trusted partners themselves — corroborating the stories of several trusted partners inIn response to the death of al-Hashimi in Iraq, in emails viewed by Insider, Meta sent condolences and asked al-Saadi to participate in a meeting where he could provide the company more feedback on its processes.

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