Human rights

An independent assessment of Meta’s human rights impact in the Philippines

  • We are publishing an independent human rights impact study we commissioned on the role of our technologies in the Philippines.
  • This assessment found that Meta technologies are widely used and have positive human rights impacts in the Philippines, as well as salient human rights risks.
  • We are constantly working to evolve our products, policies and processes to address the risks identified in the report and we are committed to implementing 24 recommendations.

Our technologies provide a critically important space for people to exercise their human rights, where they can speak out, bring to light important issues and hold those in power to account. And we know that people can abuse technology to exacerbate existing social tensions and suppress basic human rights. In accordance with our Company human rights policy, we conduct human rights impact assessments to better understand the role our technologies play in society, including how to help prevent and mitigate associated risks.

Today we publish the conclusions of the independent human rights impact study we ordered from the Philippines, as well as details of how we responded the recommendations of the evaluation. We recognize that the complex challenges described in the report may continue to evolve, as do our approach and strategies for building systems that help promote human rights.

The assessment found that Meta technologies, in addition to being widely used in the Philippines, play an important and positive role in providing access to economic opportunities, giving voice to people and being essential tools for monitoring and advocating. human rights during COVID-19. pandemic. It also highlights key human rights risks in the Philippines, including concerns about the misuse of our technologies to disinformation and disinformation, online harassment and incitement to violence. We have ttaken concrete steps to mitigate these and other risks identified in the report, and we will continue to do so to help keep people safe.

Item one, a consulting firm specializing in human rights and ethics, carried out the assessment in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The research methodology included qualitative interviews with journalists, child protection specialists and civil society activists, as well as a survey of 2,000 people who use Facebook in the Philippines. The evaluation also used an innovative methodology of combining traditional methods of stakeholder consultation with a quantitative survey that captured the experiences of a wide range of Filipino citizens. It was also designed to understand the experiences and risks of various vulnerable groups including LGBTQ +, journalists and others.

The Meta Response: Article One Recommendations and Our Progress

The Meta Response describes our response to the Article One recommendations. We commit to or have implemented 24 recommendations; partially implement 7 recommendations; and we assess the feasibility of another 9. We share these ideas and actions of our due diligence, aligned with our human rights policy.

As our response notes, we have made progress in implementing many of the report’s recommendations, and we know that much remains to be done. Here’s an update on our work to address some of the key areas identified in the report:

  • Recommendation: Develop a risk mitigation plan for the 2022 Philippine presidential election, with a focus on disinformation.
    • In line with our approach for other major global elections, Meta has made it a high priority to invest in risk mitigation and preparations for the Philippine presidential election of 2022.
    • We have a dedicated cross-functional working group to prepare for this election, and have also started providing resources and training to stakeholders on digital advocacy, community standards, online safety, and political advertising.
    • In partnership with the Philippine Elections Commission and various civic organizations, including the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), we have launched a program civic education campaign, organized training on our community standards and organized round tables with civil society.
    • we have widened Digital tayo, our flagship digital literacy program in the Philippines, to include new modules on civic education, focusing on community engagement and empowerment for elections.
    • We have significantly expanded our global policies addressing voter interference. We are working closely with civil society, electoral authorities and industry, and will provide further updates on our electoral efforts in the run-up to next year’s vote.
    • We have taken significant steps to expand and refine our disinformation policies. We launched the Deceptive Manipulated Video Policy and expanded our Policy of disinformation and prejudice to remove some misinformation related to COVID-19 and vaccines. Since the start of the pandemic, we have removed more than 20 million pieces of content under these policies.
    • we supported Internews Philippines launch the Philippine Fact Checker Incubator, to increase the capacity of local organizations for fact checking.
    • To help people better understand who is behind the news they see on Facebook, we apply labels to media who are determined to be wholly or partially under the editorial control of their governments, including those of the Philippines.
    • We constantly strive to stop coordinated campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate in our apps. Since 2017, our security teams have identified and removed more than 150 covert influence operations, including several in The Philippines, for violating our policy against Coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB). When we identify CIB on Facebook and Instagram, we take action and publicly disclose it in our monthly report.
  • Recommendation: Update our policies and their enforcement against online harassment, incitement or coordinated harassment.
  • Recommendations: Increase the capacity to mitigate the prevalence of online sexual exploitation and human trafficking on Meta platforms.
    • In line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we have actively sought to support awareness, understanding and consultation around the drafting of various child safety online bills in the Philippines. and to define more precisely the duties of platforms and technology companies to solve related problems. .
    • We have extensive language prohibiting multiple forms of human exploitation in our existing policies. Our updated policy clearly prohibits any sale of children.
    • We have updated proactive detection tools with the goal of reducing the possibility of discovering exploitative content and incorporating emerging trends in consultation with the Philippines Department of Health and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, as well as the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. , Blas Ople Policy Center, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
    • We have ongoing coordination with the Philippine Interagency Council Against Trafficking, Department of Justice, Department of ICT, and Department of Education as well as child safety organizations, to respond quickly to reports and collect local ideas and trends to help us improve our policies, tools and resources to better protect children online.
    • We have worked closely with partner NGOs such as Stop the Traffik to conduct targeted prevention and support campaigns in countries like the Philippines.
  • Recommendations: Develop an autonomous human rights defenders policy to guide our approach to human rights management and co-develop technical tools with human rights defenders to protect their rights while using Meta technologies.
    • We published our company human rights policy in March 2021, which specifically refers to the needs and risks of human rights defenders, and provides a solid political basis for future work.
    • The Meta Human Rights team is actively seeking to develop a more cohesive set of product co-design opportunities to support human rights defenders on our applications.
  • Recommendation: Invest more in language capabilities to enable a more accurate and proactive review of potential terrorist content.
    • At the time of writing, we have content moderation capability in Cebuano and the Philippines. We will assess how to prioritize additional capacity based on our global language prioritization criteria and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
    • We have also launched The Resilience Initiative, a partnership between Meta and The Asia Foundation, which aims to promote tolerance, strengthen interfaith and interethnic understanding and counter violent extremism, helping to build resilient communities through ICCA. The initiative offers a range of capacity building programs for civil society organizations to help develop localized positive storytelling campaigns online that aim to tackle intolerance and discrimination. In 2020, the program reached over 60 organizations in 10 Asian countries (Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal and India). In 2021, we launched a online portal make information resources accessible to a greater number of communities.

This evaluation is an important step forward for us and our work in the Philippines. The way we approach safety, security and human rights is not static. We are constantly working to evolve our products, policies and processes to create better results.