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Meta's Plan to Use Social Media Posts for AI Training Sparks Controversy

Written by: Archie Williamson | Posted: 11-06-2024

Meta's Plan to Use Social Media Posts for AI Training Sparks Controversy

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

Have you ever wondered if Meta could use your Facebook and Instagram posts to train AI platforms? Well, now it seems they can.

As of June 26, Meta, the entity behind major social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, has unveiled a sweeping plan to train its AI platform on vast amounts of posts, photos, captions, comments, and stories shared by users over 18. They have reiterated that the data used only comes from publicly posted content and not content shared with friends. 

This is part of a strategy to 'enhance and advance' its AI products, but for many, it has set off alarm bells about the extent to which personal and private content will be used. 

Complaints Made to European Data Protection Authorities 

A European digital rights company has taken a stand, accusing Meta of personal content exploitation and explicitly alleging that Meta's content collection practices violate user privacy laws. They have complained to 11 different data protection authorities, urging them to halt Meta's plans with immediate effect. Meta claims, however, that it is working within all current data protection laws. 

Is Meta aligning its AI Training with the EU AI Act Compliance?

Like other tech giants, Meta must ensure compliance with the EU's new AI Act by obtaining explicit user consent for using posts and implementing robust data protection and transparency for human oversight measures. This alignment ensures the ethical use of AI and adherence to regulatory standards. 

By providing diverse training data, the company aims to empower and improve popular AI products like chatbots and image generators, significantly enhancing their performance and, ultimately, user satisfaction.

  • Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasises the importance of the company's 'unique data' for its AI 'playbook' going forward, considering the extensive amount of publicly shared images, videos, captions, and comments. 

  • Meta's Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, has stated a firm commitment to using public content for generative AI products worldwide. To further reassure users, UK and European users will receive a message or email about how AI will use their data starting on June 26, demonstrating Meta's dedication to transparency and user trust.

The Users 'Right to Choose' 

For users who receive these notifications about data processing under 'legitimate interest', the company wants to emphasise that you can control your information usage. You can exercise your 'right to object' and choose not to have your data used for AI. To do this, click on the hyperlink option provided in the notification, which will guide you through opting out. 


It seems that Meta AI is at least actively trying to address the significant concerns raised about its use of user information for training, though many still feel that they have not done enough. The company is under significant pressure to handle these user consent and data protection issues with the utmost efficiency and care.

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Meta's Plan to Use Social Media Posts for AI Training Sparks Controversy

Written by: Archie Williamson | Posted: 11-06-2024

Meta's Plan to Use Social Media Posts for AI Training Sparks Controversy

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

Have you ever wondered if Meta could use your Facebook and Instagram posts to train AI platforms? Well, now it seems they can.

As of June 26, Meta, the entity behind major social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, has unveiled a sweeping plan to train its AI platform on vast amounts of posts, photos, captions, comments, and stories shared by users over 18. They have reiterated that the data used only comes from publicly posted content and not content shared with friends. 

This is part of a strategy to 'enhance and advance' its AI products, but for many, it has set off alarm bells about the extent to which personal and private content will be used. 

Complaints Made to European Data Protection Authorities 

A European digital rights company has taken a stand, accusing Meta of personal content exploitation and explicitly alleging that Meta's content collection practices violate user privacy laws. They have complained to 11 different data protection authorities, urging them to halt Meta's plans with immediate effect. Meta claims, however, that it is working within all current data protection laws. 

Is Meta aligning its AI Training with the EU AI Act Compliance?

Like other tech giants, Meta must ensure compliance with the EU's new AI Act by obtaining explicit user consent for using posts and implementing robust data protection and transparency for human oversight measures. This alignment ensures the ethical use of AI and adherence to regulatory standards. 

By providing diverse training data, the company aims to empower and improve popular AI products like chatbots and image generators, significantly enhancing their performance and, ultimately, user satisfaction.

  • Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasises the importance of the company's 'unique data' for its AI 'playbook' going forward, considering the extensive amount of publicly shared images, videos, captions, and comments. 

  • Meta's Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, has stated a firm commitment to using public content for generative AI products worldwide. To further reassure users, UK and European users will receive a message or email about how AI will use their data starting on June 26, demonstrating Meta's dedication to transparency and user trust.

The Users 'Right to Choose' 

For users who receive these notifications about data processing under 'legitimate interest', the company wants to emphasise that you can control your information usage. You can exercise your 'right to object' and choose not to have your data used for AI. To do this, click on the hyperlink option provided in the notification, which will guide you through opting out. 


It seems that Meta AI is at least actively trying to address the significant concerns raised about its use of user information for training, though many still feel that they have not done enough. The company is under significant pressure to handle these user consent and data protection issues with the utmost efficiency and care.