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Facebook's AI makes little headway in the fight against hate speech

16 May 2018

837 million pieces of spam were removed in Q1 2018, all of which were found and flagged by Facebook's systems before anyone even reported it. In Q1, we disabled about 583 million fake accounts in Q1 - most of which were disabled within minutes of registration.

Facebook said it removed 2.5 million pieces of content deemed unacceptable hate speech during the first three months of this year, up from 1.6 million during the previous quarter.

For graphic violence, Facebook took down or applied warning labels to about 3.5 million pieces of violent content during the period - 86 percent of which was identified by Facebook technology before it was reported.

Facebook claims that it can now detect every spam post and through artificial intelligence, it will be able to remove posts without a moment's delay if it propagates terrorism, violence or sexual content on its website.

The social network released its first content moderation report today. "We removed 2.5 million pieces of hate speech in Q1 2018 - 38 percent of which was flagged by our technology". In addition, Facebook stated that from the remaining accounts, a mere three to four percent were fake. Facebook released its Community Standards Enforcement Preliminary Report on Tuesday, providing a look at the social network's methods for tracking content that violates its standards, how it responds to those violations, and how much content the company has recently removed.

However, messages inciting hatred, the robot can distinguish much more hard - a computer's intelligence does not understand the cultural and contextual features, so in this category, Facebook is largely dependent on staff moderators. Facebook said that Zuckerberg "has no plans to travel to the United Kingdom", said Damian Collins, the leader of the UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, in a statement Tuesday.

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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.

Facebook is struggling to block hate speech posts, conceding its detection technology "still doesn't work that well" and it needs to be checked by human moderators.

"We believe that increased transparency tends to lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time, and publishing this information will push us to improve more quickly too", he said.

Facebook's head of global policy management Monika Bicket said the group had kept a commitment to recruit 3,000 more staff to lift the numbers dedicated to enforcing standards to 7,500 at the start of this year.

The committee has also urged Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them, adding that it would be open to taking evidence from the billionaire company founder via video link if he would not attend in person.

Facebook's AI makes little headway in the fight against hate speech