Zuckerberg Admits to Scanning Facebook Private Messages

Posted on April 7, 2018 at 9:11 AM

Zuckerberg Admits to Scanning Facebook Private Messages

During a newly released interview, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted to scanning private messages, albeit to filter out content that is against Facebook’s guidelines.

Ezra Klein has recently interview Mark Zuckerberg on her podcast. In it, the entrepreneur says that they have set up automated systems to detect and filter harmful content. For example, recently in Myanmar people were attempting to circulate “sensational messages” with anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya sentiments that were intended to incite violence.

Another use for these filtering systems is the unfortunately necessary scanning for images that look to exploit children. Sent links are also scanned for malware and viruses.

In an interview to Bloomberg, a spokesperson from Facebook states that these scanning tools are only used to put a quick halt to abusive behavior. He went on to say that it is not for advertising purposes that they scan data.

Android users discovered that their Facebook messages were scanned while attempting to download their data on their devices. In addition to that, they saw that Facebook also stored their call logs and SMS data.

Still in hot waters

Following the scandal around Cambridge Analytica, the social networking giant is adamant to adopt more transparent practices. Following the scandal, it has become apparent that 87 million profiles were scoured for data and analyzed, and consequently used in the 2016 US elections. The majority of the affected profiles are situated in the US, however, large chunks also originate from Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

As a response to the scandals around the breach of privacy, the movement #DeleteFacebook started. It was quickly joined by quite a few high-profile persons, including the co-founders of WhatsApp, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, and entrepreneur Elon Musk. The latter deleted the Tesla and SpaceX pages.

Joining #DeleteFacebook

If you wish to join the myriad of Facebook users deleting not only their accounts but their entire posting and another activity history, here are a few tips:

On Chromium-based browsers, you can install an extension that mass-deletes your posts for you, as well as mass-unliking everything you might have pressed that thumbs-up button on. You can find out what kind of data the social network site has stored on you, go to settings, and under “General” click the “Download a copy” link. The site will notify you when you can download your data.

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Zuckerberg Admits to Scanning Facebook Private Messages
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Zuckerberg Admits to Scanning Facebook Private Messages
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During a newly released interview, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted to scanning private messages, albeit to filter out content that is against Facebook’s guidelines.
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