Facebook Offers First-Ever Estimate of Hate Speech Prevalence on Its Platform

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Fb for the primary time on Thursday disclosed numbers on the prevalence of hate speech on its platform, saying that out of each 10,000 content material views within the third quarter, 10 to 11 included hate speech.

The world’s largest social media firm, beneath scrutiny over its policing of abuses, significantly round November’s US presidential election, launched the estimate in its quarterly content moderation report.

Fb mentioned it took motion on 22.1 million items of hate speech content material within the third quarter, about 95 % of which was proactively recognized, in comparison with 22.5 million within the earlier quarter.

The corporate defines ‘taking motion’ as eradicating content material, overlaying it with a warning, disabling accounts, or escalating it to exterior companies.

This summer season, civil rights teams organised a widespread promoting boycott to attempt to strain Fb to behave towards hate speech.

The corporate agreed to reveal the hate speech metric, calculated by inspecting a consultant pattern of content material seen on Fb, and submit itself to an impartial audit of its enforcement document.

On a name with reporters, Fb’s head of security and integrity Man Rosen mentioned the audit can be accomplished “over the course of 2021.”

The Anti-Defamation League, one of many teams behind the boycott, mentioned Fb’s new metric nonetheless lacked adequate context for a full evaluation of its efficiency.

“We nonetheless do not know from this report precisely what number of items of content material customers are flagging to Fb — whether or not or not motion was taken,” mentioned ADL spokesman Todd Gutnick. That information issues, he mentioned, as “there are various types of hate speech that aren’t being eliminated, even after they’re flagged.”

Rivals Twitter and YouTube, owned by Alphabet’s Google, don’t disclose comparable prevalence metrics.

Fb’s Rosen additionally mentioned that from March 1 to the November three election, the corporate eliminated greater than 2,65,000 items of content material from Fb and Instagram in the USA for violating its voter interference insurance policies.

In October, Fb mentioned it was updating its hate speech coverage to ban content material that denies or distorts the Holocaust, a turnaround from public feedback Fb’s Chief Govt Mark Zuckerberg had made about what ought to be allowed.

Fb mentioned it took motion on 19.2 million items of violent and graphic content material within the third quarter, up from 15 million within the second. On Instagram, it took motion on 4.1 million items of violent and graphic content material.

Earlier this week, Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have been grilled by Congress on their firms’ content material moderation practices, from Republican allegations of political bias to choices about violent speech.

Final week, Reuters reported that Zuckerberg advised an all-staff assembly that former Trump White Home adviser Steve Bannon had not violated sufficient of the corporate’s insurance policies to justify suspension when he urged the beheading of two US officers.

The corporate has additionally been criticised in latest months for permitting massive Fb teams sharing false election claims and violent rhetoric to achieve traction.

Fb mentioned its charges for locating rule-breaking content material earlier than customers reported it have been up in most areas resulting from enhancements in synthetic intelligence instruments and increasing its detection applied sciences to extra languages.

In a blog post, Fb mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt its content-review workforce, although some enforcement metrics have been returning to pre-pandemic ranges.

An open letter from greater than 200 Fb content material moderators revealed on Wednesday accused the corporate of forcing these employees again to the workplace and ‘needlessly risking’ lives in the course of the pandemic.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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