Facebook pulled or slapped warnings on nearly 30 million posts containing sexual or violent images, terrorist propaganda or hate speech in the first three months of 2018, the social media giant said on Tuesday.
In an unprecedented report responding to calls for transparency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, Facebook detailed its actions against such content in line with its “community standards”.
Facebook said improved technology using artificial intelligence had helped it act on 3.4 million posts containing graphic violence, nearly three times more than it had in the last quarter of 2017.
In 85.6 per cent of the cases, Facebook detected the images before being alerted to them by users, said the report, issued the day after the company said “around 200” apps had been suspended on its platform as part of an investigation into misuse of private user data.
Responses to rule violations include removing content, adding warnings to content that may be disturbing to some users while not violating Facebook standards; and notifying law enforcement in case of a “specific, imminent and credible threat to human life”
Improved IT also helped Facebook take action against 1.9 million posts containing terrorist propaganda, a 73% increase. Nearly all were dealt with before any alert was raised, the company said. It attributed the increase to the enhanced use of photo detection technology.
Facebook took action against 2.5 million pieces of hate speech content during the period, a 56 per cent increase over October-December. But only 38 per cent had been detected through Facebook’s efforts -the rest flagged up by users.
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. Some 21 million such posts were handled in the period, a similar number to October-December 2017.
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