Facebook is secretly ranking how untrustworthy it thinks you are
Facebook has secretly started scoring its users according to how untrustworthy they are. Users are being judged on their behavior – without knowing it, or how they are being ranked, it has revealed.
Facebook is using an array of information to decide whether its users should be believed when they say something is happening, according to the Washington Post.
Users will not know that their behavior is being ranked, the company appeared to suggest. But the ranking themselves are important: they decide whether an account is reliable enough to be believed when it reports a page or a story, helping decide whether it should be taken down straight away.
Right now, it isn’t clear if the trust score is being used for anything other than reports on news stories, as well as reports on whether another Facebook user has posted something inappropriate or otherwise needing the company’s attention.
Facebook is far from being the first tech firm to privately score its users.
Uber has long rated its customers according to the marks each driver gives them. But originally it required clients to email in requests to find out their count before it decided to make the information available via its app.
Twitter’s co-founder Ev Williams said in 2010 that it gave users a secret “reputation score” to help it recommend which members to follow.
Several Twitter users pointed out that the proposed trustworthiness score reminded them of the popular series Black Mirror, which chronicles the dystopian downsides of technology in the future, as well as China’s social credit system.
The Chinese state is piloting a system in which citizens are given a “social credit” score based on a mix of their online and offline behavior. It can be negatively impacted if you don’t pay bills, fail to care for elders or if you’re lazy and spend too much time playing video games.
“This is yet another example of Facebook using people’s data in ways they would not expect their data to be used, which further undermines people’s trust in Facebook,” said Ailidh Callander, a solicitor at Privacy International.
“Facebook simply must learn some hard lessons, and start being transparent and accountable about how they use people’s data to profile and take decisions.”
It is not clear if the scoring system is applied to EU citizens.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump took aim at social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, condemning them for banning and attempting to silence conservative voices.
“They are closing down the opinions of many people on the Right …” he twitted.