Facebook Removed 2.5 MILLION Pieces of 'Hate Speech' in Just Three Months

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"We have lots of work still to do to prevent abuse", Facebook VP Guy Rosen wrote in a separate post. "Accountable to the community". Most recently, the scandal involving digital consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which allegedly improperly accessed the data of up to 87 million Facebook users, put the company's content moderation into the spotlight.

It also explains some of the reasons, usually external, or because of advances in the technology used to detect objectionable content, for large swings in the amount of violations found between Q4 and Q1.

For instance, Alex Schultz, the company's vice-president of data analytics, said the amount of content moderated for graphic violence nearly tripled quarter-on-quarter.

Facebook on Tuesday released numbers on the kinds of content-and how much of it-the company has removed in recent months.

The figure represents between 0.22 and 0.27 percent of the total content viewed by Facebook's more than two billion users from January through March.

Now, however, artificial intelligence technology does much of that work. The company didn't provide a number of views, but said it was "extremely low". For the most part, it has not provided more details on the hiring plan, including how many will be full-time Facebook employees and how many will be contractors.

But it declined to say which countries see more of the offending content or which category of users.

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Utilizing new artificial-intelligence-based technology, Facebook can find and moderate content more rapidly and effectively than the traditional, human counterpart-that is, in terms of detecting fake accounts or spam, at least.

The posts that keep the Facebook reviewers the busiest are those showing adult nudity or sexual activity - quite apart from child pornography, which is not covered by the report.

The response to extreme content on Facebook is particularly important given that it has come under intense scrutiny amid reports of governments and private organizations using the platform for disinformation campaigns and propaganda. A Bloomberg report last week showed that while Facebook says it's become effective at taking down terrorist content from al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, recruitment posts for other USA -designated terrorist groups are found easily on the site.

Only 38 per cent of hate speech was flagged by the company's systems, with 2.5 million pieces of content removed.

But hate speech is a problem for Facebook today, as the company's struggle to stem the flow of fake news and content meant to encourage violence against Muslims in Myanmar has shown.

"It may take a human to understand and accurately interpret nuances like... self-referential comments or sarcasm", the report said, noting that Facebook aims to "protect and respect both expression and personal safety". In the fourth quarter, it removed 694 million, and the numbers don't take into account the millions of people who tried and failed to set up accounts.

Facebook says AI has played an increasing role in flagging this content. Overall, the social giant estimated that around 3%-4% of active Facebook accounts on the site during Q1 were still fake. In this case, 86% was flagged by its technology.

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