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Facebook reports increased action on graphic content
16 May 2018, 01:37 | Austin Hogan
Facebook has disabled almost 1.3 billion fake accounts over the past six months
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.
Facebook's renewed moderation effort of almost 1.5 billion accounts has resulted in 583 million fake accounts being closed in the first three months of this year, according to The Guardian. It said the rise was due to improvements in detection.
For example, the report notes that during the period it covers-the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018-Facebook removed 21 million pieces of content depicting adult nudity or sexual content, 95.8% of it before any user ever reported it.
Facebook said in a written report that of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed in the first quarter, an estimated 22 to 27 pieces contained graphic violence, up from an estimate of 16 to 19 late previous year. Facebook said users were more aggressively posting images of violence in places like war-torn Syria.
"We're not releasing that in this particular report", said Alex Schultz, the company's vice president of data analytics.
"As Mark Zuckerberg said at F8, we have a lot of work still to do to prevent abuse", Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of product management, wrote in a blog post.
Notwithstanding major privacy and security issues during the 2016 presidential election and the problem of fake news on the platform, the report shows that Facebook seems to be doing a fairly good job of utilizing its automated systems and human reviewers to keep the vast majority (often well over 90%) of hate speech, pornography, terrorist propaganda, fake accounts, spam, and graphic violence off its site.
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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.
Facebook took action on 1.9 million pieces of content over terrorist propaganda.
Facebook took down or applied warning labels to 3.4 million pieces of violent content in the three months to March - a 183 per cent increase from the final quarter of 2017.
While Facebook uses what it calls "detection technology" to root out offending posts and profiles, the software has difficulty detecting hate speech.
The company has been using artificial intelligence to help pinpoint the bad content, but Rosen said the technology still struggles to understand the context around a Facebook post pushing hate, and one simply recounting a personal experience.
As Facebook continues to grapple with spam, hate speech, and other undesirable content, the company is shedding more light on just how much content it is taking down or flagging each day. That doesn't include what Facebook says are "millions" of fake accounts that the company catches before they can finish registering.
Utilizing new artificial-intelligence-based technology, Facebook can find and moderate content more rapidly and effectively than the traditional, human counterpart-that is, in terms of detecting fake accounts or spam, at least. "We tend to find and flag less of it, and rely more on user reports, than with some other violation types".
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