Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) admits conversations were recorded but says it will no longer do so
Facebook has been paying hundreds of outside contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its services, according to sources.
The work has rattled the contract employees, who are not told where the audio was recorded or how it was obtained – only to transcribe it, said the sources. They’re hearing Facebook users’ conversations, sometimes with vulgar content, but do not know why Facebook needs them transcribed, the sources said.
Facebook confirmed that it had been transcribing users’ audio and said it will no longer do so, following scrutiny into other companies. “Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the company said on Tuesday. It said the users who were affected chose the option in Facebook’s Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed. The contractors were checking whether Facebook’s artificial intelligence correctly interpreted the messages, which were anonymised.
Big tech companies including Amazon.com and Apple have come under fire for collecting audio snippets from consumer computing devices and subjecting those clips to human review, a practice that critics say invades privacy. Bloomberg first reported in April that Amazon had a team of thousands of workers around the world listening to Alexa audio requests with the goal of improving the software, and that similar human review was used for Apple’s Siri and Alphabet’s Google Assistant. Apple and Google have since said they no longer engage in the practice and Amazon said it will let users opt out of human review.
The social networking giant, which just completed a $5 billion (Dh18.36bn) settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission after a probe of its privacy practices, has long denied that it collects audio from users to inform ads or help determine what people see in their news feeds. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg denied the idea directly in Congressional testimony.
“You’re talking about this conspiracy theory that gets passed around that we listen to what’s going on on your microphone and use that for ads,” Mr Zuckerberg told US senator Gary Peters in April 2018. “We don’t do that.”
In follow-up answers for Congress, the company said it “only accesses users’ microphone if the user has given our app permission and if they are actively using a specific feature that requires audio (like voice messaging features).” The Menlo Park, California-based company doesn’t address what happens to the audio afterward.
The Facebook data-use policy, revised last year to make it more understandable for the public, includes no mention of audio. It does, however, say Facebook will collect “content, communications and other information you provide” when users “message or communicate with others”.
Facebook says its “systems automatically process content and communications you and others provide to analyse context and what’s in them”. It includes no mention of other human beings screening the content. In a list of “types of third parties we share information with”, Facebook doesn’t mention a transcription team but vaguely refers to “vendors and service providers who support our business” by “analysing how our products are used”.
The role of humans in analysing recordings underscores the limits of artificial intelligence in its ability to recognise words and speech patterns. Machines are getting better at the task but sometimes still struggle with the unfamiliar. That some of the contractors have found the recorded content disturbing is further reminder of the human toll of moderating content on Facebook, the world’s biggest social network.
Facebook first started allowing Messenger users to have their audio transcribed in 2015. “We’re always working on ways to make Messenger more useful,” David Marcus, the executive in charge of the service at the time, said in a Facebook post.
Overall, the bias in prices is: Downwards.
The projected upper bound is: 189.33.
The projected lower bound is: 170.58.
The projected closing price is: 179.95.
A big black candle occurred. This is bearish, as prices closed significantly lower than they opened. If the candle appears when prices are “high,” it may be the first sign of a top. If it occurs when prices are confronting an overhead resistance area (e.g., a moving average, trendline, or price resistance level), the long black candle adds credibility to the resistance. Similarly, if the candle appears as prices break below a support area, the long black candle confirms the failure of the support area.
During the past 10 bars, there have been 4 white candles and 6 black candles for a net of 2 black candles. During the past 50 bars, there have been 26 white candles and 24 black candles for a net of 2 white candles.
Momentum is a general term used to describe the speed at which prices move over a given time period. Generally, changes in momentum tend to lead to changes in prices. This expert shows the current values of four popular momentum indicators.
One method of interpreting the Stochastic Oscillator is looking for overbought areas (above 80) and oversold areas (below 20). The Stochastic Oscillator is 36.8240. This is not an overbought or oversold reading. The last signal was a buy 5 period(s) ago.
Relative Strength Index (RSI)
The RSI shows overbought (above 70) and oversold (below 30) areas. The current value of the RSI is 35.81. This is not a topping or bottoming area. A buy or sell signal is generated when the RSI moves out of an overbought/oversold area. The last signal was a sell 22 period(s) ago.
Commodity Channel Index (CCI)
The CCI shows overbought (above 100) and oversold (below -100) areas. The current value of the CCI is -110.This is an oversold reading. However, a signal isn’t generated until the indicator crosses above -100. The last signal was a buy 4 period(s) ago.
The Moving Average Convergence/Divergence indicator (MACD) gives signals when it crosses its 9 period signal line. The last signal was a sell 18 period(s) ago.
Rex Takasugi – TD Profile
FACEBOOK INC A closed down -8.740 at 179.710. Volume was 12% above average (neutral) and Bollinger Bands were 22% wider than normal.
Open High Low Close Volume___
185.800 185.990 179.310 179.710 18,903,716
Short Term: Neutral
Intermediate Term: Bearish
Long Term: Bullish
Moving Averages: 10-period 50-period 200-period
Close: 186.47 190.99 168.17
Volatility: 44 32 41
Volume: 15,941,056 16,695,951 20,370,458
Short-term traders should pay closer attention to buy/sell arrows while intermediate/long-term traders should place greater emphasis on the Bullish or Bearish trend reflected in the lower ribbon.
FACEBOOK INC A is currently 6.9% above its 200-period moving average and is in an downward trend. Volatility is extremely high when compared to the average volatility over the last 10 periods. There is a good possibility that volatility will decrease and prices will stabilize in the near term. Our volume indicators reflect volume flowing into and out of FB.O at a relatively equal pace (neutral). Our trend forecasting oscillators are currently bearish on FB.O and have had this outlook for the last 10 periods. The security price has set a new 14-period low while our momentum oscillator has not. This is a bullish divergence.