Meta Mismatch: Good at One Thing, Not So Good at Another

May 27, 2024

dinosaur30a_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dinobaby. Unlike some folks, no smart software improved my native ineptness.

I read “While Meta Stuffs AI Into All Its Products, It’s Apparently Helpless to Stop Perverts on Instagram From Publicly Lusting Over Sexualized AI-Generated Children.” The main idea is that Meta has a problems stopping “perverts.” You know a “pervert,” don’t you. One can spot ‘em when one sees ‘em. The write up reports:

As Facebook and Instagram owner Meta seeks to jam generative AI into every feasible corner of its products, a disturbing Forbes report reveals that the company is failing to prevent those same products from flooding with AI-generated child sexual imagery. As Forbes reports, image-generating AI tools have given rise to a disturbing new wave of sexualized images of children, which are proliferating throughout social media — the Forbes report focused on TikTok and Instagram — and across the web.

What is Meta doing or not doing? The write up is short on technical details. In fact, there are no technical details. Is it possible that any online service allowing anyone able to comment or upload certain content will do something “bad”? Online requires something that most people don’t want. The secret ingredient is spelling out an editorial policy and making decisions about what is appropriate or inappropriate for an “audience.” Note that I have converted digital addicts into an audience, albeit one that participates.


Two fictional characters are supposed to be working hard and doing their level best. Thanks, MSFT Copilot. How has that Cloud outage affected the push to more secure systems? Hello, hello, are you there?

Editorial policies require considerable intellectual effort, crafted workflow processes, and oversight. Who does the overseeing? In the good old days when publishing outfits like John Wiley & Sons-type or Oxford University Press-type outfits were gatekeepers, individuals who met the cultural standards were able to work their way up the bureaucratic rock wall. Now the mantra is the same as the probability-based game show with three doors and “Come on down!” Okay, “users” come on down, wallow in anonymity, exploit a lack of consequences, and surf on the darker waves of human thought. Online makes clear that people who read Kant, volunteer to help the homeless, and respect the rights of others are often at risk from the denizens of the psychological night.

Personally I am not a Facebook person, a users or Instagram, or a person requiring the cloak of a WhatsApp logo. Futurism takes a reasonably stand:

it’s [Meta, Facebook, et al] clearly unable to use the tools at its disposal, AI included, to help stop harmful AI content created using similar tools to those that Meta is building from disseminating across its own platforms. We were promised creativity-boosting innovation. What we’re getting at Meta is a platform-eroding pile of abusive filth that the company is clearly unable to manage at scale.

How long has been Meta trying to be a squeaky-clean information purveyor? Is the article going overboard?

I don’t have answers, but after years of verbal fancy dancing, progress may be parked at a rest stop on the information superhighway. Who is the driver of the Meta construct? If you know, that is the person to whom one must address suggestions about content. What if that entity does not listen and act? Government officials will take action, right?

PS. Is it my imagination or is becoming a bit more strident?

Stephen E Arnold, May 27, 2024


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