Facebook has been labeling and categorizing public and private user posts by hand

report from Reuters explains Facebook has thousands of third-party assistants around the globe looking and labeling Facebook and Instagram posts. These contract workers are not only looking at public posts but also private posts on these platforms in order to label them for AI systems.

This adds to the already existing list of privacy concerns from Facebook users.

The workers categorize the content to help the AI learn. This includes the subject of the post (food, animals, etc), the occasion (daily activity or major event? Etc), and the author’s intention (inspire, make a joke etc).

The work is also aimed at understanding the user base to help develop new features. While the pictures and posts are chosen at random for analysis, comments or screenshots can still reveal a lot.

A Facebook spokeswoman said: “We make it clear in our data policy that we use the information people provide to Facebook to improve their experience and that we might work with service providers to help in this process.”


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