Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

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

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWATCH Facebook reveals scale of abuse Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWATCH Facebook reveals scale of abuse
Orlando Vargas | 16 May, 2018, 02:57

The company removed or put a warning screen for graphic violence in front of 3.4 million pieces of content in the first quarter, almost triple the 1.2 million a quarter earlier, according to the report.

In total the social network took action on 3.4m posts or parts of posts that contained such content.

It attributed the increase to the enhanced use of photo detection technology.

The company estimated that for every 10,000 pieces of content seen on Facebook overall, between seven and nine of them violated its adult nudity and pornography standards.

This was up from 0.16-0.19% in the previous three months.

But most of Facebook's removal efforts centered on spam and fake accounts promoting it.

The new report was released in conjunction with Facebook's latest Transparency Report, which said that across the world government requests for account data increased by four percent in the second half of 2017 compared to the first half.

In the majority of cases, Facebook's automated systems actually did a pretty good job of both detecting and flagging content before users could even get the chance to report it.

That's up from 0.06-0.08% during the last three months of 2017. "We tend to find and flag less of it, and rely more on user reports, than with some other violation types".

Facebook says the number of views of terrorist propaganda from organisations including ISIS, al-Qaeda and their affiliates that happen on the platform is extremely low.

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By comparison, the company was first to spot more than 85 percent of the graphically violent content it took action on, and nearly 96 percent of the nudity and sexual content.

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.

Most of the content was found and flagged before users had a chance to spot it and alert the platform.

Facebook has been under pressure for its failure to remove violence, nudity, hate speech and other inflammatory content from its site.

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

Rosen also said that Facebook blocks millions of fake account attempts every day from even attempting to register, but did not specify how many.

Some 21 million such posts were handled in the period, a similar number to October-December 2017.

The report did not cover the spread of false news directly, which it has previously said it was trying to stamp out by increasing transparency on who buys political ads, strengthening enforcement and making it harder for so-called "clickbait" from showing up in users' feeds. Tuesday's report, which will come out twice a year, can also show how well Facebook's artificial intelligence systems learn to flag items that violate the rules before anyone on the site can see them.

"(And) technology needs large amounts of training data to recognise meaningful patterns of behaviour, which we often lack in less widely used languages", Mr Rosen said. The company found and flagged 95.8% of such content before users reported it.

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