Facebook Allegedly Examines How Platform Discriminates Against Black Users

In this photo illustration, the app icons of Facebook,...

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*Last year it was announced that META, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, would examine how the platforms treat Black users.

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“There are a lot of members of systemically and historically marginalized communities who feel that their experience on our platforms is different,” said Roy Austin Jr., vice president of civil rights at Meta, formerly known as Facebook, per a 2021 NPR report.

Black users have complained that their posts about racism have been taken down. Facebook also apologized late last year after its artificial intelligence software labeled Black males as “primates.” Per the NPR report, “Meta is starting by tracking the race of its platforms’ users, which Austin described as “a huge step to moving from the anecdotal to the data driven.”

It’s worth noting that Facebook regularly targets and stifles Black activists and the voices of marginalized groups while rarely taking action against white supremacists and repeated reports of racial slurs and violent hate speech from anti-Black extremists.

To avoid being flagged and banned from the platform, many Black users operate under aliases and maintain backup accounts.

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We reported via CNN that Facebook is testing an option for users to create multiple profiles from a single account, amid a bid by the platform to reignite user growth. The feature is aimed at helping users “tailor their experience based on interests and relationships,” Facebook spokesperson Leonard Lam told CNN Business in a statement.

While Facebook prohibits users from having more than one account, the feature would let them create up to five profiles under their account to engage with different topics or groups of people.

This might entail profiles (and thus, Facebook feeds) designed for engaging with close friends versus coworkers, or a profile dedicated to a specific hobby like gaming. Bloomberg first reported the new feature test on Thursday.

The test comes as Facebook parent company Meta experiences slowing profit growth and steep competition from rivals like TikTok, which it is battling for users’ time and attention.

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