Sci-tech

Facebook, Aiming for Transparency, Details Removal of Posts and Fake Accounts

Facebook, Aiming for Transparency, Details Removal of Posts and Fake Accounts

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. Of the total 2.5 million hate speech posts removed, only 38 percent were pulled by Facebook's tech before users reported it. Compare that to the 95.8 percent of nudity or 99.5 percent of terrorist propaganda that Facebook purged automatically.

The numbers show that Facebook is still predominately relying on other people to catch hate speech - which CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spoken about before, saying that it's much harder to build an AI system that can determine what hate speech is then to build a system that can detect a nipple.

The company previously enforced community standards by having users report violations and trained staff then deal with them. The rate at which we can do this is high for some violations, meaning we find and flag most content before users do.

Now, however, artificial intelligence technology does much of that work.

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Of course, the authors note, while such AI systems are promising, it will take years before they are effective at removing all objectionable content. For every 10,000 content views, an estimated 22 to 27 contained graphic violence and 7 to 9 contained nudity and sexual violence that violated the rules, the company said.

Getting rid of racist, sexist and other hateful remarks on Facebook is challenging for the company because computer programs have difficulties understanding the nuances of human language, the company said Tuesday. 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.

"For graphic violence, we took down or applied warning labels to about 3.5 million pieces of violent content in Q1 2018 - 86% of which was identified by our technology before it was reported to Facebook", it said.

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

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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 remaining problem content was reported by human users. The report also doesn't cover how much inappropriate content Facebook missed.

Hate speech: In Q1, the company took action on 2.5 million pieces of such content, up about 56% from 1.6 million during Q4. "Facebook's community standards generally prohibit content like that, even though there may be some content like warzone violence where we put up warning screens".

Spam: Facebook says it took action on 837 million pieces of spam content in Q1, up 15% from 727 million in Q4. It said it disabled 583 million fake accounts.

The social networking giant also said that it disabled 583m fake accounts in the first quarter of the year and now estimates that between 3pc and 4pc of all active accounts during the period were fake. "While not always flawless, this combination helps us find and flag potentially violating content at scale before many people see or report it". In that case, Facebook claims it used A.I.to locate 98.5 percent of the fake accounts it recently closed, and "nearly 100 percent" of the spam it found.

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