Facebook opens up about efforts to scrub offensive content

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWATCH Facebook reveals scale of abuse

Facebook has released internal figures on abusive content found and removed from the site for the first time, revealing the scale of malicious content on the social network.

Now it has released the numbers in a Community Standards Enforcement Report.

In four of the six categories, it increased deletions over the previous quarter: spam (up 15% from the previous quarter), violent content (up 65%), hate speech (up 56%), and terrorist content (up 73%), while deletions of fake accounts were down 16%, and deletions of nudity and sexual activity saw no change.

Most of the action we take to remove bad content is around fake accounts, and the vast amounts of spam they generate.

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During that period, Facebook removed 583 million fake accounts and 836 million spam posts, images, videos and comments.

- Facebook took enforcement action against 21 million posts containing nudity.

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, the world's largest social network was quoted as saying in a published document.

With regards to graphic violence, 3.5 million items were removed in Q1 2018 and 86% was flagged before it was reported.

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Facebook has faced a storm of criticism for what critics have said was a failure to stop the spread of misleading or inflammatory information on its platform ahead of the USA presidential election and the Brexit vote to leave the European Union, both in 2016. The company estimates that out of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on Facebook, 7-9 views were of content that violated its adult nudity and pornography standards.

"We have a lot of work still to do to prevent abuse", Zuckerberg said".

Hate speech was the only one that Facebook's detection tech could not quite get a handle on, as only 38 percent of the posts that were removed were flagged that way.

"For example, 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". "While not always flawless, this combination helps us find and flag potentially violating content at scale before many people see or report it".

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It claimed to detect nearly 100 percent of spam and to have removed 837 million posts assimilated to spam over the same period. "This is the same data we use to measure our progress internally - and you can now see it to judge our progress for yourselves". This means, the social media company still relies on its users and reviewers to check up on hate speeches and it will take some time for its AI to learn sarcasm and detect abusive hate speeches.

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