Ahead of Quarterly Earnings Call, Real Facebook Oversight Board Releases Meta Quarterly Harms Report for Q3 2022: Four Alarm Fire for Democracy
Research Shows Meta Continuing to Act as a Platform for Extremists, Far-Right Politics; Wholly Unprepared for 2022 US Midterms
26 October — Following the conclusion of Facebook’s third quarter in this financial year, the Real Facebook Oversight Board is publishing our Quarterly Harms Report. The report is a compilation of the harms that investors have facilitated through their ownership of shares — a documentation of the so-called externalities of Facebook’s business, with a focus on human life, privacy, and democracy.
In total, Q3 reflected Meta’s continued descent into a platform for right-wing extremism and a vehicle for conservative political voices. Read the report here.
Q3’s harms include -
- The abject failure of Facebook to prepare for the 2022 U.S. election midterms: research from Change the Terms and the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism shows violent and misleading rhetoric as well as Spanish language disinformation flourishing on Meta’s platforms, with Meta refusing to act to remove much of the content.
- Facebook’s alarming flirtation with re-platforming President Trump.
- Meta’s whitewashing of their first ever “human rights” report, which revealed their intent to fully bury an assessment of human rights in India compromised by their platforms.
- Excessive political donations to U.S. elected officials positioned to regulate the company, as data from the “Facebook Receipts,” a new project of RFOB/The Citizens showed substantial donations as Meta moves to protect themselves from regulation.
- The so-called news feed algorithm’s continued prioritization of known disinformation superspreaders and extremists. Our research showed nearly one third of top ten posts on Facebook in Q3 were from known disinformers — only 13% were from reputable sources.
The report notes: “For a platform that is a primary news source for so many, for only 13% of top ten posts for an entire quarter to be from reputable sources reflects an environment heavily skewed to disinformation..”
A spokesperson for Real Facebook Oversight Board commented:
“As Meta tallies its Q3 dollars, shareholders have made a sizable investment in disinformation, destabilization, deceit and denial — and have put the stability of the 2022 election at risk. This is a four alarm fire for democracy. We call on all Meta shareholders to speak out about the endemic and dangerous issues on the company’s platforms.”
Real Facebook Oversight Board members are available for interviews. Statements do not reflect the individual positions of all Real Facebook Oversight Board Members. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.