Facebook removed 7 million posts in Q2 for false coronavirus information

Yolanda Curtis
August 13, 2020

"The failure explicitly to count antisemitic conspiracy theories as a form of hate speech was highlighted in July", the Guardian noted Wednesday, "when Wiley, the British rapper and DJ, posted a series of antisemitic comments on his Instagram account, after a similar rant on Twitter". Facebook says its AI systems detected 84% of (known) hate speech on that service, after detecting just 45% of the hate speech in the first quarter of the year. The company took down 35.7 million posts for breaking its rules about adult nudity and sexual activity, compared to 39.5 million in the first three months of the year.

Some of the improvement was credited to expanding automated detection to more languages including Spanish and Burmese, and to better understanding posts in English.

The numbers suggest real progress in the improvements to Facebook's AI systems, on which it is pinning much of its hope for controlling a large and evolving hate and misinformation problem on its platforms.

Mainly, the company finds toxic posts via its AI and user reports.

Facebook estimates that less than 0.05% of views were of content that violated its standards against suicide and self-injury.

"Despite these decreases, we prioritised and took action on the most harmful content within these categories". However, a limited number of reviewers resulted in Facebook's AI taking up the reins for the majority of posts resulting in an increase in some removals, but a reduction in others.

Facebook sent its content moderators home in March, a move that led to fewer posts being removed in certain rulebreaking areas between April and June.

"As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we'll continue adapting our content review process and working to improve our technology and bring more reviewers back online", the statement concluded.

Facebook also updated its policies to call out a couple of specific kinds of hate speech.

After receiving backlash for its policies that allowed inappropriate content, the world's leading social media network Facebook finally tweaks its policies that will see blackface and anti-Semitic stereotypes taken off its platform.

In a report released Tuesday, the social media giant revealed it had removed 22.5 million posts for hate speech in the second quarter of 2020 - a roughly 130% increase from the 9.6 million in Q1.

According to Business Insider, the new policy is meant to remove offensive content that previously skirted Facebook's ban on hate speech and was made after consultation with outside experts, vice president of content policy Monika Bickert disclosed on Tuesday.

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