Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Facebook took down 21 million pieces of adult nudity in three months

Facebook took down 21 million pieces of adult nudity in three months

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

The self-assessment came Tuesday in Facebook's first breakdown of how much material it removes in an effort to shield its 2.2 billion users from offensive content and prevent the social network from becoming a terrorist recruitment center.

The number of posts on Facebook showing graphic violence rose in the first three months of the year from a quarter earlier, possibly driven by the war in Syria, the social network said on Tuesday, in its first public release of such data.

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. 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.

Facebook said it was able to remove so many accounts and posts that violated its community standards thanks to its AI tools.

Facebook plans to continue publishing new enforcement reports, and will refine its methodology on measuring which bad content circulates over the platform. In this case, 86% was flagged by its technology.

The last stat that Facebook highlighted was hate speech; it admitted its technology wasn't very good at picking it up so it still gets reviewed by review teams. All 836 million spam posts were flagged by an artificial intelligence program before human users reported them, according to the report.

The report also covers fake accounts, which has gotten more attention in recent months after it was revealed that Russian agents used fake accounts to buy ads to try to influencethe 2016 elections.

Zuckerberg says the transparency report includes the same metrics Facebook use internally to measure its progress. The inaugural report was meant to "help our teams understand what is happening" on the site, he said. "While not always ideal, this combination helps us find and flag potentially violating content at scale before many people see or report it".

Representatives will also visit Oxford, England on Wednesday, May 16 and Berlin on May 17. Summits are expected later in the year in India, Singapore and the US. Most are disabled within minutes of registration using software algorithms.

The investigation follows revelations about Cambridge Analytica's collection of user data in March, after which the company was forced to admit it had allowed the data of tens of million of users to be mishandled.

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