Facebook defends efforts to combat human trafficking, crime after report detailing 'inadequate' action

In a new statement posted to Twitter, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone defended the tech giant's commitment to preventing harm.

The company has released a number of statements this week defending its efforts to prevent misinformation and harmful behavior, after The Wall Street Journal issued a series of critical reports under a collection titled, "The Facebook Files."

In a Thursday report published as part of the Facebook Files collection, internal documents obtained by the Journal show that Facebook employees have attempted to take action against drug cartels and human traffickers using the platform to facilitate crime, but the company's action against those bad actors appears to be lagging.

"As the Wall Street Journal itself makes clear, we have a team of experts who help us uncover patterns of harmful behavior so we can disrupt it. We've got arguably more experts and resources dedicated to this work than any other consumer technology company in the world," Stone wrote in a Thursday tweet. 

He continued: "While there is always more we can do, these teams have helped us to find and disrupt gangs and traffickers operating on our platform."

National Human Trafficking Hotline text number

"Scores" of documents reviewed by the Journal showed that the company took "inadequate" action or no action at all in instances of employees flagging activity related to human and drug trafficking in foreign countries. 

Stone said the company uses a variety of tools, including artificial intelligence, to detect criminal organizations on the platform but conceded that the issue is "an adversarial space." And while Facebook has tools "to combat recidivism," he added, it does "find these organizations try to return to our platforms."

"We know we have more work to do, which is exactly why we hire specialists in key fields to help us do research and understand the problems so that we can improve our technology, staffing and policies to address them," Stone concluded.

For more, check out FOXBusiness.com.


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