Meta has released its first annual human rights report, after years of being accused of not paying attention to online abuses.
The 83-page report, which covers the years 2020 and 2021, includes "insights and actions from Meta’s human rights due diligence on products, countries, and responses to emerging crises."
In recent years, human rights organisations have accused Meta of failing to address hate speech issues both in the US and in countries such as Myanmar, where Facebook is used to promote violence against minorities. The company's internal research has found that members of extremist organisations are grouped together with the help of the company's advisory algorithms.
In this regard, Meta claims that it has been able to strike a "balance" between free speech and security, and develop policies to combat health misinformation and emerging implicit threats. Human rights director Miranda Sissons previously revealed that the company has around 100 people working on human rights issues, and the team she directly oversees has grown to eight.
In addition, the report also looks at the privacy and security risks associated with Ray-Ban Stories, glasses that can record photos and videos, including how data from the glasses can be stored and searched in the cloud.
The report also includes a summary of human rights impacts in India, which Meta commissioned from law firm Foley Hoag, in which analysts note that Meta's platforms may be "connected to salient human rights risks caused by third parties, advocacy of hatred that incites hostility, discrimination, or violence." Meta said it was looking into the recommendations but had not yet committed to implementing them.
In addition, the report does not yet report on human rights abuses in the metaverse. It only says:
Human and civil rights must be at the centre of our development of the metaverse.