Facebook hired contractors to transcribe users’ conversations for its Messenger app

Facebook has admitted to hiring third-party contractors to listen to and transcribe audio clips of the conversation of its users. The social media giant claims that it stopped using human reviewers for transcribing users’ conversations “more than a week ago.”

Facebook, back in 2015, introduced a new functionality on to the Facebook Messenger wherein it transcribed the audio clips shared by the users in the chat app. The feature, which is available in select countries, is turned off by default.

However, Facebook will still transcribe the audio clip into text if even one of the people in the chat has the feature turned on.

A Bloomberg report says that Facebook employees hundreds of contractual workers to transcribe the audio clips. They are hearing people’s private conversations, ‘sometimes with vulgar content’, without knowing why they are listening to those conversations.

Facebook, responding to the report said that it used human contractors to review audio clips in order to ensure that its artificial intelligence had transcribed the audio clips correctly and that it had stopped human reviews following scrutiny into other tech companies.

The report noted that Facebook doesn’t explicitly disclose to its users that third party may review their audio files, however, the company does mention that it will collect ‘content, communications and other information you provide” when users communicate with each other.

Source : Various