Mark Zuckerberg admits Facebook scans some of the contents of your private Messenger conversations in the latest blow to the scandal hit firm : Dr. Leonard Coldwell.com

Mark Zuckerberg admits Facebook scans some of the contents of your private Messenger conversations in the latest blow to the scandal hit firm

  • Facebook checks messages to ensure they are in line with community standards
  • Zuckerberg confirmed the policy of scanning texts during a podcast interview
  • Links and images are scanned to prevent the spread of illegal and extreme content
  • The text of your messages may be read manually if it’s flagged to moderators
  • It sparked further privacy concerns in the wake of Cambridge Analytica scandal 
  • The consulting firm bought data from 50 million unsuspecting Facebook users 

Facebook scans the contents of messages that people send each other on its Messenger app, blocking any content that contravenes its rules, it has emerged.

The scandal-hit firm, still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica debacle, checks images and links for illegal or extreme content using automated systems.

What you write in your messages may also be read manually if it’s flagged to moderators for breaching Facebook’s community guidelines.

While the intentions behind the practice may be well-meaning, the news is likely to add to users’ concerns over what the social network knows about them.

It follows revelations that the Trump-affiliated consulting firm obtained data on at least 50 million unsuspecting Facebook users.

This information was used to target voters in the US, based on psychological profiling, with political adverts spreading disinformation.

Facebook is also facing criticism for collecting years of data on call and text histories from Android users.

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 Facebook, based in Mountain View California, is in full damage-control mode, with Mark Zuckerberg acknowledging he's made a 'huge mistake' in failing to take a broad enough view of what Facebook's responsibility is in the world

Mark Zuckerberg, pictured here in July 2017, has admitted Facebook scans the contents of messages that people send each other on its Messenger app blocking any that contravene its guidelines

CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the policy during a podcast interview with Vox’s editor at large, Ezra Klein.

Zuckerberg told his host a story about receiving a phone call from staff at his Mountain View firm.

He was informed that their systems had blocked attempts to send inflammatory Messenger instant messages about ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.

About the experience, the 33-year-old billionaire said: ‘In that case, our systems detect what’s going on.

‘We stop those messages from going through.’

The news has been met with mixed reactions on social media, with a number of users expressing concern.

Messenger says that it doesn’t use data from messages it has scanned for the purposes of advertising, according to reports in Bloomberg.

The company told the website that it uses the same tools to prevent abuse in messages that are in place across Facebook as a whole.

 Messenger says that it doesn’t use data from messages it has scanned for the purposes of advertising, but that is likely to be of little comfort in the current climate, with privacy at the forefront of many Facebook user's minds (stock image)

 Messenger says that it doesn’t use data from messages it has scanned for the purposes of advertising, but that is likely to be of little comfort in the current climate, with privacy at the forefront of many Facebook user’s minds (stock image)

Users are also able to flag posts or messages that they feel are in violation of the site’s house rules.

This will either cause one of the social network’s community operations team to manually review the content, or automated systems can also make decisions.

‘Keeping your messages private is the priority for us,’ a Facebook Messenger spokesman said in a statement to MailOnline.

‘We protect the community with automated systems that detect things like known images of child exploitation and malware. This is not done by humans.

‘We do not listen to your voice and video calls.’

But that is likely to be of little comfort in the current climate, with privacy at the forefront of many Facebook user’s minds.

One Twitter user, Kevin Chastain, claims to have experienced Messenger texts being used to target advertising, tweeting: ‘So I was messaging my wife about dinner tonight mentioned a particular place on Facebook messenger and then opened up Facebook about to see an ad for that restaurant.

‘Tell me they aren’t in on every convo I have. Scary!’

WHAT HAS FACEBOOK DONE TO ADDRESS PRIVACY CONCERNS?

Facebook is giving its privacy tools a makeover as it reels from criticisms over its data practices and faces tighter European regulations in the coming months.

The changes won’t affect Facebook’s privacy policies or the types of data it gathers about its users.

But the company hopes its 2.2 billion users will have an easier time navigating its complex and often confusing privacy and security settings.

Facebook is giving its privacy tools a makeover as it reels from criticisms over its data practices and faces tighter European regulations in the coming months. This image shows how the settings will appear before (left) and after (right) the redesign 

Facebook is giving its privacy tools a makeover as it reels from criticisms over its data practices and faces tighter European regulations in the coming months. This image shows how the settings will appear before (left) and after (right) the redesign

Facebook says it’s trying to make the controls easier to find and to give users a simpler way to access and download the data it collects on them.

The announcement follows revelations that Trump-affiliated consulting firm got data on millions of unsuspecting Facebook users.

Facebook is also facing criticism for collecting years of data on call and text histories from Android users.

In a written statement, Erin Egan, vice president and chief privacy officer, policy, and Ashlie Beringer, vice president and deputy general counsel, said: ‘Last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies and help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data.

This image  shows a redesign of Facebook's privacy tools. The changes won't affect Facebook's privacy policies or the types of data it gathers on users, but the company hopes  users will have an easier time navigating its complex settings menus

This image shows a redesign of Facebook’s privacy tools. The changes won’t affect Facebook’s privacy policies or the types of data it gathers on users, but the company hopes users will have an easier time navigating its complex settings menus

Among the changes, Facebook is making data settings and tools easier to find, is introducing a new privacy shortcuts menu, and is adding tools to find, download and delete your Facebook data 

Among the changes, Facebook is making data settings and tools easier to find, is introducing a new privacy shortcuts menu, and is adding tools to find, download and delete your Facebook data

‘We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more to keep people informed.

‘We’re taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy.

‘Most of these updates have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.’

Among the changes, Facebook is making data settings and tools easier to find, is introducing a new privacy shortcuts menu, and is adding tools to find, download and delete your Facebook data.2018: Zuckerberg admits Facebook made ‘mistakes’ on user data

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