Facebook Admits to Scanning Every Link, Photo Sent on Messenger


Following CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s interview raising questions about Messenger’s practices and privacy earlier this week, Facebook has confirmed that it scans each and every single link and image sent on its Messenger service, and even reads chats when they’re flagged to moderators, in order to make sure the content does not violate Facebook’s policies, Bloomberg is reporting.

“The company told Bloomberg that while Messenger conversations are private, Facebook scans them and uses the same tools to prevent abuse there that it does on the social network more generally. All content must abide by the same “community standards.” People can report posts or messages for violating those standards, which would prompt a review by the company’s “community operations” team. Automated tools can also do the work.”

Facebook has been under scrutiny in recent weeks over how it handles users’ private data. The company has even updated its data policy and has proposed new terms of service to clarify that Messenger and Instagram use the same rules as Facebook.

However, the social networking giant remains on the defensive after revelations that private information from about 50 million users wound up in the hands of political ad-data firm Cambridge Analytica without their consent.

Zuckerberg has also agreed to testify before the House next week and will also be holding a conference call soon to discuss changes to Facebook privacy policies.