A few weeks ago, Facebook Messenger introduced new rules around the transmission of messages to limit the spread of misinformation on its platform. Speaking today at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020, Facebook Messenger VP Stan Chudnovsky gave more details on how Facebook sees its role in the fight against the spread of misinformation and other harmful content throughout its messaging platform, while balancing the idea. that Messenger is intended to be a platform for private and, at times, encrypted conversations (aka “secret” messages).
Chudnovsky explained that Facebook’s goal is to make Messenger feel like the digital equivalent of having a private conversation between friends and family in the living room. But the company has also recognized that with the growth of digital tools and new media, there are things Facebook needs to know, when it comes to how these tools can be abused.
“Messenger is obviously a private means of communication. And we want to make sure it is private. This is a very important priority for us,” Chudnovsky began. But when users start sending messages over and over again, Messenger is no longer there to have a private conversation. It has become a tool for sharing information one by one, he explained.
“This is … more like a public broadcast,” he said.
Facebook had announced it earlier last year that it was “added attrition” to the transmission of messages by Messenger users in Sri Lanka, so people could only share a particular message a certain number of times. The limit was set at five people or groups at the time. Those the same rules are now extended through the Messenger platform, with the same transmission limit of five people or groups.
The new limits, the executor continued, are intended to stop this spamming behavior. “Certain pieces of information can’t be conveyed too many times … it’s something we think will really help stop the spread of disinformation, especially in the times we are in now,” he added.
Chudnovsky also noted that because of how Messenger is connected to Facebook, when false information is marked by fact-checkers associated with Facebook, the same warning about the inaccuracy of information can be inserted into all conversations. Messenger, to warn users that they may be being misled. or otherwise harmful content.
“This doesn’t violate privacy at all because everything goes through the same big pipelines,” he said.
Facebook website which details how its fact-checking program works doesn’t even include a mention of Messenger, just Facebook and Instagram.
One thing Facebook will not consider is ending the entire sharing of links, Chudnovsky said.
“I think these things are the heart of the internet,” Chudnovsky said of link-sharing and transfer. “[Completely banning] the ability for people to exchange information over the internet defeats the purpose of [the] the internet itself, ”he said.