Who Won the Week (18 April 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.

I wanted to talk briefly this week about how social media companies finally seem to be taking some responsibility for the content that appears on their platforms. Just focussing on Facebook, they now have some robust policies, and employ 15,000 human moderators, not to mention all the tech they have at their disposal.

I mean, this is not just illegal content, but can often include items merely offensive or defamatory.

All great news for us consumers.

Unless you happen to be the town council of Bitche, on the French/German border. Yes, in March, Facebook decided to take down the official page of this medieval, walled town, population 5,000. Fortunately, they reinstated it a few days ago.

Okay, on the face of it, a chuckle story. But it does highlight the stereotype of how a huge monolithic English-language-dominated company seems to think that English is the world’s only language.

And it also highlights their absolute inability to police content. Good pages are taken down while harmful posts or videos can remain visible for days. I’m sure none of us truly appreciate the volume of content that these guys have to deal with, but that is their problem, not ours.

You can kinda see, can’t you, why this village, a while back, decided just to change its name to avoid confusion? I did think this place might be located in Hell, but the article assures me that it is in Austria.



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