Incident 417: Facebook Feed Algorithms Exposed Low Digitally Skilled Users to More Disturbing Content

Description: Facebook feed algorithms were known by internal research to have harmed people having low digital literacy by exposing them to disturbing content they did not know how to avoid or monitor.


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Alleged: Facebook developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed low digitally skilled Facebook users.

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Khoa Lam
Why Some People See More Disturbing Content on Facebook Than Others, According to Leaked Documents · 2021

Some users are significantly more likely to see disturbing content on Facebook than others, according to internal company documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen.

A 2019 report from Facebook’s Civic Integrity team details the resul…

Facebook fed posts with violence and nudity to people with low digital literacy · 2021
  • Facebook studies said algorithms harmed users with low tech skills with repeated disturbing content.
  • Some users did not understand how content came to appear in their feeds or how to control it.
  • These users were often older, people of colo…
Facebook Exposed Its Less Digital Conversant Audience To Graphic Content · 2021

Facebook's track record with content available on its platform is nothing worth envying, but for users who are not well-versed with social media tools, the platform dished out more disturbing content that could be anything from graphically …

Facebook’s Latest Scandal: Exposing Low Digitally Skilled Users to More Violent and Adult Content · 2021

Facebook has been dealing with scandal after scandal for some time and has come under intense scrutiny from global lawmakers and regulators. According to a recent report, users with low digital literacy skills have become the latest victims…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.