Is Facebook Doing Enough to Stop Bad Content? You Be the Judge

16 May, 2018, 12:41 | Author: Patty Aguilar
  • Facebook has already removed 583 million fake accounts this year

Why the numbers matter: The report gives us a picture of the sheer quantity of content Facebook's software and human moderators are churning through.

This report covers our enforcement efforts between October 2017 to March 2018 and covers six areas: graphic violence, adult nudity and sexual activity, terrorist propaganda, hate speech, spam, and fake accounts. In the first quarter, Facebook disabled about 583 million fake accounts and removed 837 million pieces of spam, the report said. It addressed how Facebook enforces its guidelines, detailing the removal of hundreds of millions of fake accounts and spam items in the first three months of 2018.

Facebook said Tuesday it took down almost 2 million posts related to terrorist propaganda this year before users reported them.

Facebook's vice president of product management, Guy Rosen, said in a blog post Tuesday about the newly-released report that nearly all of the 837 million spam posts Facebook took down in the first quarter of 2018 were found by Facebook before anyone had reported them.

On Tuesday, May 15, Guy Rosen, Facebook's Vice President of Product Management, posted a blog post on the company's newsroom.


Since the fallout over political firm Cambridge Analytica obtaining millions of Facebook users' data without their permission, Facebook reiterated its commitment to being more transparent.

Had the company not shut down all those fake accounts, its audience of monthly users would have swelled beyond its current 2.2 billion and probably created more potentially offensive material for Facebook to weed out. For every 10,000 views of content on Facebook, the company said, roughly 8 of them were removed for featuring sex or nudity in the first quarter, up from 7 views at the end of previous year. Providing users with a look into just how much work goes into keeping the social media platform free from those looking to abuse their freedom of speech. "It's partly that technology like artificial intelligence, while promising, is still years away from being effective for most bad content because context is so important".

"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. "We tend to find and flag less of it, and rely more on user reports, than with some other violation types". It refrained from showing how prevalent terrorist propaganda and hate speech is on the platform, saying it couldn't reliably estimate either.

But Facebook's progress in policing what users see isn't likely to temper fresh criticism from regulators in Europe over privacy protections for its billions of users worldwide.

"Today's report gives you a detailed description of our internal processes and data methodology". The company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised the investigation as one of a number of measures put in place to handle the scandal.

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