Facebook struggles to get machines to stamp out hate speech

What's the score

What's the score

And three weeks ago, for the first time, we published the internal guidelines we use to enforce those standards.

Facebook is struggling to catch much of the hateful content posted on its platform because the computer algorithms it uses to track it down still require human assistance to judge context, the company said Tuesday.

These violations include graphic violence, adult nudity, terrorist propaganda, bullying, hate speech and fake accounts. "Thanks to AI tools we've built, nearly all of the spam was removed before anyone reported it, and most of the fake accounts were removed within minutes of being registered".

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Also, it claims to have disabled 583 million fake accounts.

This, Rosen says, is in addition to the millions of fake accounts that are blocked from registering on a daily basis yet even still, it is estimated that as many as four percent of the active Facebook accounts during the quarter were still fake. The company says more than 96 percent of the posts removed by Facebook for featuring sex, nudity or terrorism-related content were flagged by monitoring software before any users reported them.

Facebook's vice president of product management Guy Rosen said more work needed to be done to improve such detection tools.

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In the United Kingdom, Facebook this week again resisted a request from British lawmakers to testify as part of their investigation into Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that improperly accessed personal information about 87 million of the social site's users.

Facebook has faced a storm of criticism for what critics have said was a failure to stop the spread of misleading or inflammatory information on its platform ahead of the USA presidential election and the Brexit vote to leave the European Union, both in 2016. 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.

"AI still needs to get better before we can use it to effectively remove more linguistically nuanced issues like hate speech in different languages, but we're working on it", said Zuckerberg to CNet. But users are still reporting the majority of hate-speech posts, or about 62 percent of them, before Facebook takes them down. Today's report, which will come out twice a year, can also show how well Facebook's artificial intelligence systems learn to flag items that violate the rules before anyone on the site can see them. It refrained from showing how prevalent terrorist propaganda and hate speech is on the platform, saying it couldn't reliably estimate either. But only 38 percent had been detected through Facebook's efforts - the rest flagged up by users.

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"My top priorities this year are keeping people safe and developing new ways for our community to participate in governance and holding us accountable", said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on his profile Tuesday.

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