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Nudity, hate speech and spam: Facebook reveals how much content it kills

16 May, 2018, 13:40 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • Entrance to Facebook's Menlo Park office

The numbers were disclosed in a report Tuesday that breakdown how much material Facebook removes for violating service terms. It addressed how Facebook enforces its guidelines, detailing the removal of hundreds of millions of fake accounts and spam items in the first three months of 2018.

The company removed or put a warning screen for graphic violence in front of 3.4 million pieces of content in the first quarter, almost triple the 1.2 million a quarter earlier, according to the report.

To distinguish the many shades of offensive content, Facebook separates them into categories: graphic violence, adult nudity/sexual activity, terrorist propaganda, hate speech, spam and fake accounts. In Q1, we disabled about 583 million fake accounts in Q1 - most of which were disabled within minutes of registration.

On Tuesday, May 15, Guy Rosen, Facebook's Vice President of Product Management, posted a blog post on the company's newsroom.

Facebook previously estimated fake accounts as accounting for 3 percent to 4 percent of its monthly active users. 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.


Facebook's vice president of product management, Guy Rosen, said in a blog post Tuesday about the newly-released report that nearly all of the 837 million spam posts Facebook took down in the first quarter of 2018 were found by Facebook before anyone had reported them.

Hate speech is checked by review teams rather than technology.

With graphic violence, the autimaged system also did a pretty good job, but as far as flagging hate speech, the company was only able to recognize around 38% of the total number. Facebook's technology did a better job of finding graphic violence and automatically identified 86% of the 3.5 million pieces of that kind of content that was removed during the period. The problem with trying to proactively scour Facebook for hate speech is that the company's AI can only understand so much at the moment.

It's also why we are publishing this information.

"In addition, in many areas - whether it's spam, porn or fake accounts - we're up against sophisticated adversaries who continually change tactics to circumvent our controls, which means we must continuously build and adapt our efforts". "This is the same data we use to measure our progress internally - and you can now see it to judge our progress for yourselves". The company's reputation took a serious hit after news broke of their alleged role in facilitating questionable use of user data and they desperately need a win to help get them back on their feet.

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