Facebook Removed 2.5 Million Pieces of Hate Speech in the First Quarter

16 May, 2018, 13:39 | Author: Sergio Cook
  • Facebook's latest transparency move is showing you how much objectionable content it removes

The report, released Tuesday, revealed how much content has been removed for violating standards.

Facebook has released its Community Standards Enforcement Report which details the actions the firm has taken against content that's not allowed on its platform such as graphic violence, adult nudity and sexual activity, terrorist propaganda, hate speech, spam, and fake accounts.

Facebook took down 837 million pieces of spam in Q1 2018, almost 100% of which it found and flagged before anyone reported it. "Thanks to AI tools we've built, nearly all of the spam was removed before anyone reported it, and most of the fake accounts were removed within minutes of being registered".

The prevalence of graphic violence was higher and received 22 to 27 views-an increase from the previous quarter that suggests more Facebook users are sharing violent content on the platform, the company said.

This, Rosen says, is in addition to the millions of fake accounts that are blocked from registering on a daily basis yet even still, it is estimated that as many as four percent of the active Facebook accounts during the quarter were still fake. But of the more recent total, only 38 percent was flagged by Facebook before users reported it (an improvement on the 23.6 percent in the prior three months).

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As perhaps the most prolific social media service ever, Facebook plays a vital role in connecting us with friends and family around the world. Facebook said that Zuckerberg "has no plans to travel to the United Kingdom", said Damian Collins, the leader of the UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, in a statement Tuesday. But users are still reporting the majority of hate-speech posts, or about 62 percent of them, before Facebook takes them down.

"Artificial intelligence isn't good enough yet to determine whether someone is pushing hate or describing something that happened to them so they can raise awareness of the issue", said Rosen.

Facebook's new report, which it plans to update twice a year, comes a month after the company published its internal rules for how reviewers decide what content should be removed. The company attributed the decline to the "variability of our detection technology's ability to find and flag" fakes. "This is the same data we use to measure our progress internally - and you can now see it to judge our progress for yourselves".

While the removal of 583 million fake Facebook accounts is certainly noteworthy, it does little to address concerns regarding actual user privacy.

The committee has also urged Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them, adding that it would be open to taking evidence from the billionaire company founder via video link if he would not attend in person.

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