Digital activists around the world are urging Facebook to take seriously how its algorithm incites misinformation and ethnic violence
On a cloudy evening in Nairobi, Berhan Taye is scrolling through a spreadsheet in which she has helped document more than 140 Facebook posts from Ethiopia that contain hate speech. There are videos of child abuse, texts of hate speech against different ethnic groups, and hours-long live streams inciting hatred. These posts breach Facebook community guidelines in any context. Yet for Taye and her colleagues, this is what Facebook’s news feed has looked like for years in Ethiopia.
Because there aren’t enough content moderators focused on Ethiopia, it has been up to Taye, an independent researcher looking at technology’s impact on civil society, and a team of grassroots volunteers to collect and then report misinformation and hate speech to Facebook.