Meta Platforms Inc. today released its first Human Rights Report, an 83-page document that covers the years 2020 and 2021.
According to Meta, the report includes “information and actions from our human rights due diligence on products, countries and responses to emerging crises.” Over the years, the company has been criticized for putting growth concerns above human impact concerns when it comes to politics, with the company accused of being used to stoke minorities in various countries to enable anger to foment itself in the United States.
“Our core principles include giving people a voice, inclusivity, privacy, security, connection, community and economic opportunity. Putting these principles into practice helps people exercise their human rights,” Meta said, with much of the report detailing how the company tries to allow free speech to flourish while cracking down on speech that could lead to violence.
For example, Meta agrees that in Myanmar it “has not done enough to help prevent our platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence.” Nevertheless, Meta says he has taken the recommendations into account and tried to fix this problem.
As The Wall Street Journal pointed out today, one of the countries where Meta has been lambasted for having a terrible impact is India, where there are 300 million Facebook users and 400 million from WhatsApp. There is no doubt that Meta’s products in India have been used to aggravate hatred and violence, but today’s report has been accused of ‘washing the waters’.
In India, Meta has also been accused at times of being pressured by the Indian government to remove content from outspoken activists. In the report, Meta states, “The obvious risk of government abuse and abuse in demanding user data from private technology companies was the starting point of Meta’s human rights journey. man”. It seems that more work is needed in this regard, although the report indicates that Meta is doing more to protect human rights defenders.
The report also analyzed the human risk posed by products such as Meta’s Ray-Ban Stories. The company admits that the connected glasses could well be used to film people without their content. Still, the company has worked with organizations to mitigate any potential damage the glasses may have.