This week marks the one-year anniversary of a 46-year-old Pinellas county cultural institution running into the buzz-saw of a social media giant’s algorithm-driven artificial intelligence assassin.
On April 20, 2021, the Dunedin Fine Art Center attempted to celebrate the award-winning artists from its #SMF student & member exhibits by posting the winning artwork on their Facebook page. The 12 student and 12 member award-winning images were uploaded in their respective groups. Within one minute, they received a notice on Facebook that some of the content being uploaded appeared to violate Facebook’s Community Standards (referring to a photograph depicting a partially nude female figure).
It explained that a review process would determine whether the content would be allowed. As the DFAC was aware of Facebook Community Standards, they chose to continue. Within the next minute, DFAC’s Facebook page, and the personal page of their Communications Director, Ken Hannon (Facebook business pages must be connected to a personal page) were both disabled.
A quick check of Facebook’s Community Standards revealed that they had not changed from what DFAC thought and that indeed, the photograph that had triggered the action was allowed under Part III. Section 14 of the published standards, which states in part that, “We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures.”
Every attempt to contact Facebook regarding this error was met with the message that a review had already been requested.
Or the sickening:
That was until approximately June 1, 2021, when the message changed to the deadly:
The irony of a platform that purports to “bring people together,” relying on algorithms and AI to decide customers' fate, with NO HUMAN INTERVENTION was not lost on the DFAC. The fact that they were in the midst of a classic “Catch 22” wasn’t either.
In addition to all of the unsuccessful attempts to contact someone, ANYONE at Facebook, they decided to start a new page for the community-based Dunedin Fine Art Center. They worked for several weeks, building back content to give the new page some weight and volume of information. Just as it reached a point where they were ready to share it with the world and start to rebuild their community of 12,500, they received this:
They attempted to appeal it, as was apparently offered, but they had forgotten the catch… 22 that is… They were met again with:
The DFAC continues to attempt to reach someone who will champion their cause at Facebook. They know it will take just one person. One human being to break through the Artificial Intelligence Algorithm.
If you know someone at Facebook who can help, please reach out to Ken Hannon at 727.298.3322 x 230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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