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Facebook Censorship Controversy Resolved, Anti-Spam To Blame

Home OfficeNews
by Darren Allan, 08 May 2012News

A Facebook controversy (yes, another one) erupted this weekend when well-known tech enthusiast Robert Scoble had a post on the social network blocked.

He was adding a post to comment on today's tech blogging scene, when he received a strange error: "This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can't be posted. To avoid having comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way."

This immediately triggered concerns that Facebook was tightening its censorship measures, and the policing of "inappropriate" content, as the post itself contained no profanity, or nothing worthy of it being blocked.

A worrying development which Scoble proceeded to discuss on Google+. However, Facebook has since responded, and said that the post was actually blocked erroneously as part of anti-spam measures.

In an emailed statement, the social network noted: "To protect the millions of people who connect and share on Facebook every day, we have automated systems that work in the background to maintain a trusted environment and protect our users from bad actors who often use links to spread spam and malware.

"These systems are so effective that most people who use Facebook will never encounter spam. They're not perfect, though, and in rare instances they make mistakes. This comment was mistakenly blocked as spammy, and we have already started to make adjustments to our classifier. We look forward to learning from rare cases such as these to make sure we don't repeat the same mistake in the future."

Censorship panic over then, it would seem.

Source: TechCrunch

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