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Facebook Also Pays Contractors to Transcribe Your Messenger Voice Messages


Enough has been said about Facebook, especially paired along with privacy matters. Despite the fines and warnings, Facebook is not yet done with invading our privacy. Reports suggest that Facebook has been paying outside contractors to transcribe audio snippets from its Messenger app.

According to some employees, Facebook Messenger audios at times, involved vulgar content. Employees expressed their concerns on the program since they were not enlightened on why Facebook needed the audios transcribed. Besides, some contractors felt their work was unethical because Facebook does not state to users that their audios may be reviewed by third parties.

In response to the matter, Facebook admitted they do hire contractors to transcribe users’ audio messages a similar case that has recently surfaced with Google, Amazon, and Apple. The company has also stated they have suspended the human review program. “Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the company stated.

Although the social giant doesn’t blatantly mention that humans may review your audio messages, the company states that their “systems automatically process content and communications you and others provide to analyze context and what’s in them.”

They state that they may share the collected information with “vendors and service providers who support our business” by “analyzing how our products are used.”

The principal intent behind the human review program, according to Facebook, was to check whether Facebook Messenger’s transcription AI did correctly transcribe audio messages. Facebook has long denied that the audios collected may be used to serve ads or personalize the news feed for users.

TaskUs, a California based company has been one of the core partners with the company on this matter. TaskUS, in response to the matter, has confirmed that the company requested them to pause the work which they did a week ago.

Moving forward, the company has not cleared on what the future holds on its transcription program. One of the affected tech giants Apple stated they will resume their Siri review program next year – but this time in a more open way.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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