Hate speech, violence flood Facebook

16 May, 2018, 12:43 | Author: Carmen Reese
  • Entrance to Facebook's Menlo Park office

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

The numbers were released in Facebook's Community Standards Enforcement Report, which covers areas including fake accounts, spam, hate speech, graphic violence, terrorist propaganda, and nudity.

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.

Facebook took down approximately 3.5 million pieces of violent content in Q1 2018, 86 percent of which was automatically detected by the social network's technology. Facebook also took down over 837 million pieces of spam during 2018's first quarter. By comparison, we removed two and a half millions pieces of hate speech in Q1 2018 - 38 percent of which was flagged by our technology.

The company only recently developed the metrics as a way to measure its progress, and would probably change them over time, said Guy Rosen, its vice president of product management.

Facebook has been in hot water following allegations of data privacy violations by Cambridge Analytica, an election consultancy that improperly harvested information from millions of Facebook users for the Brexit campaign and Donald Trump's USA presidency bid.

However, messages inciting hatred, the robot can distinguish much more hard - a computer's intelligence does not understand the cultural and contextual features, so in this category, Facebook is largely dependent on staff moderators.

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"Hate speech content often requires detailed scrutiny by our trained reviewers to understand context and decide whether the material violates standards", the company added in the report.

Facebook's detection technology "still doesn't work that well" in the hate speech arena and needs to be checked by the firm's review workers, Mr Rosen said.

While artificial intelligence is able to sort through nearly all spam and content glorifying al-Qaeda and ISIS and most violent and sexually explicit content, it is not yet able to do the same for attacks on people based on personal attributes like race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual and gender identity, the company said in its first ever Community Standards Enforcement Report.

How much content we detected proactively using our technology - before people who use Facebook reported it. It's detection algorithm is better at detecting some categories than others; and Facebook admits that hate speech still represents a detection problem. Still, the fact that there are many issues with the way the company runs the social media platform doesn't detract from the fact that they are taking efforts to make the network a more inviting place that meshes with their content guidelines.

"We believe that increased transparency tends to lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time, and publishing this information will push us to improve more quickly too", wrote Rosen.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously mentioned flagging of this content at his Senate hearing in April.

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