The AI firm that conducted ‘state surveillance’ of social media posts

An industrial estate in Yorkshire is an unlikely location for a state surveillance operation. But these blank-looking warehouses are home to an artificial intelligence (AI) company used by the Government to monitor people’s posts on social media.

Logically has been paid more than £1.2 million of taxpayers’ money to analyse what the Government terms “disinformation” – false information deliberately seeded online – and “misinformation”, which is false information that has been spread inadvertently.

It does this by “ingesting” material from more than hundreds of thousands of media sources and “all public posts on major social media platforms”, using AI to identify those that are potentially problematic.

It also has a “partnership” with Facebook, which appears to grant Logically’s fact-checkers huge influence over the content other people see.

A joint press release issued in July 2021 suggests that Facebook will limit the reach of certain posts if Logically says they are untrue.

“When Logically rates a piece of content as false, Facebook will significantly reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it, apply a warning label to let people know that the content has been rated false, and notify people who try to share it,” states the press release.

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