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

Facebook Shut Down 583 Million Fake Accounts Between January And March

Facebook said it released the report to start a dialog about harmful content on the platform, and how it enforces community standards to combat it.

Along with fake accounts, Facebook said in its transparency report that it had removed 21 million pieces of content featuring sex or nudity, 2.5 million pieces of hate speech and nearly 2 million items related to terrorism by Al Qaida and ISIS in the first quarter of 2018.

Though this amount of transparency from Facebook is hugely acknowledged, it goes on to show the sheer extent of misinformation, fake accounts, and abusive content, the company is now dealing with.

In the first quarter, the company took down 837 million pieces of spam, almost 100 percent of which was found and flagged before anyone reported it.

"Today, as we sit here, 99 percent of the ISIS and al-Qaida content that we take down on Facebook, our AI systems flag before any human sees it", Zuckerberg said at the hearing.

An estimated 3 to 4 percent of Facebook accounts were fake accounts, the company said.

Facebook only recently developed the metrics as a way to measure its progress, and would probably change them over time, said Guy Rosen, its vice president of product management. Overall, Facebook estimates that out of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on Facebook, nine to 10 views were of content that violated its adult nudity and pornography standards.

More news: United States China-ZTE story

In addition to the removal of these fake accounts, the company acted on 21 million pieces of nudity and sexual activity, 3.5 million posts that displayed violent content, 2.5 million examples of the speech as well aS 1.9 million pieces of terrorist content. But users are still reporting the majority of hate-speech posts, or about 62 percent of them, before Facebook takes them down.

"We have a lot of work still to do to prevent abuse", Zuckerberg said".

Small doses of nudity and graphic violence still make their way onto Facebook, even as the company is getting better at detecting some objectionable content, according to a new report. In April, Facebook published its internal guidelines on how it decides to remove posts that include hate speech, violence, nudity, terrorism and more.

"Artificial intelligence isn't good enough yet to determine whether someone is pushing hate or describing something that happened to them so they can raise awareness of the issue", said Rosen.

The figure represents between 0.22 and 0.27 per cent of the total content viewed by Facebook's more than two billion users from January through March. And more generally, as I explained last week, technology needs large amounts of training data to recognize meaningful patterns of behavior, which we often lack in less widely used languages or for cases that are not often reported.

It's also why we are publishing this information. The Facebook leader added that the company would notify users if their data were compromised.

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