Amid the US Capitol riot, Facebook faced its own insurrection

In this Jan 6, 2021 file photo insurrectionists loyal to Trump try to open a door of the US Capitol as they riot in Washington. New internal documents provided by former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen provide a rare glimpse into how the company, after years under the microscope for the policing of its platform, appears to have simply stumbled into the Jan 6 riot. — AP

WASHINGTON: As supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on Jan 6, battling police and forcing lawmakers into hiding, an insurrection of a different kind was taking place inside the world’s largest social media company.

Thousands of miles away, in California, Facebook engineers were racing to tweak internal controls to slow the spread of misinformation and inciteful content. Emergency actions – some of which were rolled back after the 2020 election – included banning Trump, freezing comments in groups with a record for hate speech, filtering out the “Stop the Steal” rallying cry and empowering content moderators to act more assertively by labeling the US a “Temporary High Risk Location” for political violence.

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