304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Metaplatforms, which include Facebook and Whatsapp, have been found exposed to human rights as a result of the actions of third parties
The report is based on an independent Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) commissioned by Meta in 2019, which looked at potential human rights risks in India and other countries related to its platforms.
Foley Hoag LLP took on the project. “HRIA noted the potential for Meta platforms to be linked to significant human rights risks posed by third parties, including restrictions on freedom of expression and information; hate speech by a third party that incites hostility, discrimination or violence; rights to non-discrimination as well as violations of rights to privacy and personal security,” the report said.
The HRIA included interviews with 40 civil society stakeholders, academics and journalists.
The report found that Meta faced criticism and potential reputational risks related to the risks of end-user hate speech or discrimination.
The assessment also noted a gap between companies’ and external stakeholders’ understanding of content policies.
“It found persistent issues with user education, difficulties with content reporting and review, and challenges with content policy enforcement across languages. In addition, the evaluators noted that civil society stakeholders raised several allegations of bias in content moderation. The evaluators failed to assess or draw conclusions on whether such bias existed,” the report states.
According to the report, the project was launched in March 2020 and experienced restrictions due to COVID-19, with a research and content end date of June 30, 2021.
The assessment was conducted independently of Meta, the report said.
HRIA has developed recommendations for Meta on implementation and oversight, content moderation, product interventions, etc., which Meta is studying and will consider as a basis for identifying and conducting related actions, the report said.