Facebook opens up about scrubbing efforts


Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO

Facebook believes its policing system is better at scrubbing graphic violence, gratuitous nudity and terrorist propaganda from its social network than it is at removing racist, sexist and other hateful remarks polluting its influential service.

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.

Facebook removed 2.5 million pieces of content tagged as unacceptable hate speech during the first three months of 2018, saying 62 percent of the content was flagged by users, while the company’s human reviewers and computer algorithms identified 38 percent. By contrast, Facebook’s automated tools detected 86 – 99.5 percent of the violations in the categories of graphic violence, nudity, sexual activity and terrorist propaganda.

The increased transparency comes as the Menlo Park, Calif., company tries to make amends for the recent data-mining scandal.

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