The sports category has moved to a new website.
ADVERTISEMENT

Facebook accused of failing to detect hate speech ahead of elections

The ads featured vices such as: ethnic violence, rape, slaughter and beheading.

TOPSHOT - An opposition supporter reacts under the heavy rain in front of a burning barricade in Mathare district, in Nairobi on October 26, 2017, as a group of demonstrators blocked the road and tried to prevent voters from accessing a polling station during presidential elections. (Photo by LUIS TATO/AFP via Getty Images)

With less than two weeks to go to the election, Facebook is in hot water after an investigation concluded that the social media app failed to detect hate speech ads in Swahili and English.

According to Global Witness and legal non-profit Foxglove, some of the ads that failed to be detected included vices like ethnic violence, rape, slaughter and beheading.

“It is appalling that Facebook continues to approve hate speech ads that incite violence and fan ethnic tensions on its platform,” said Nienke Palstra, Senior Campaigner in the Digital Threats to Democracy Campaign at Global Witness.

According to the investigations, a total of 20 ads were submitted in both languages with 17 approved. The three detected violated their Grammar and Profanity Policy.

ADVERTISEMENT

Foxglove then made the grammatical changes as well as removed the insults, when done, Facebook approved the ads despite the fact they had hate speech.

“In the lead up to a high stakes election in Kenya, Facebook claims its systems are even more primed for safety – but our investigation once again shows Facebook’s staggering inability to detect hate speech ads on its platform,” said Palstra.

Foxglove further stated that majority of the words used were quite dehumanising as they highlighted on several sensitive areas, however the company denied to publish the phrases in the report.

ADVERTISEMENT

A response to the allegations was provided by Meta, Facebook’s parent company saying the team has taken “extensive steps to help Meta catch hate speech and inflammatory content in Kenya” and that they’re “intensifying these efforts ahead of the election.”

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Kenyans react after police allegedly shoots & kills a protestor in Nairobi CBD

Kenyans react after police allegedly shoots & kills a protestor in Nairobi CBD

Chief Inspector Maina speaks of his major concerns after teargas accident

Chief Inspector Maina speaks of his major concerns after teargas accident

Jalang'o finally returns to his roots after a heart-to-heart with Ruto

Jalang'o finally returns to his roots after a heart-to-heart with Ruto

Outrage erupts as teargas engulfs Super Metro bus with passengers[Video]

Outrage erupts as teargas engulfs Super Metro bus with passengers[Video]

Blog: 204 MPs approve Finance Bill 2024 2nd reading [List]
Live

Blog: 204 MPs approve Finance Bill 2024 2nd reading [List]

Guard rewarded with cash over 10 times his salary for protecting protestors

Guard rewarded with cash over 10 times his salary for protecting protestors

7 key factors driving Gen Z's political awakening in Kenya

7 key factors driving Gen Z's political awakening in Kenya

Netizens react after Anonymous' stern warning to Kenyan gov't

Netizens react after Anonymous' stern warning to Kenyan gov't

Treasury lines up budgets cuts for KRA, HELB, TSC, school feeding & others

Treasury lines up budgets cuts for KRA, HELB, TSC, school feeding & others

ADVERTISEMENT