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Facebook says it reviews hate speech faster than YouTube, Twitter

Facebook released an independent report which states that it assessed 95.7 per cent of hate speech notifications as against Twitter that assessed 76.6 per cent.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed New Delhi Last Updated: June 24, 2020 | 16:08 IST
(Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Facebook has released an independent report which states that it counters hate speech faster than YouTube and Twitter.
  • The report also states that Facebook informs its users systematically and that other platforms should make improvements.
  • Facebook said it has tripled the size of teams working in safety and security since 2016 to over 35,000 people.

Facebook has released an independent report by the European Commission Code of Conduct which states that it reviews and reports hate speech at a faster rate as compared to YouTube and Twitter.

As part of this Code of Conduct, the European Commission runs regular independent tests on each company that signed on to make sure they are removing this content quickly and effectively.

According to the independent report, Facebook assessed 95.7 per cent and Instagram assessed 91.8 of hate speech notifications in less than 24 hours, compared to 81.5 per cent for Google-owned YouTube and 76.6 per cent for Twitter.

The report also states that Facebook informs its users systematically and that other platforms should make improvements.

"While we recognize we have more to do, these results suggest we are moving in the right direction and have systems in place which continue to lead our industry," Guy Rosen, VP Integrity, Facebook wrote.

Rosen noted that Facebook has tripled the size of teams working in safety and security since 2016 to over 35,000 people including teams that review reports of hate speech 24 hours a day. He further added that Facebook has also invested in AI technology so that the reviewers can spot posts of hate speech before people report about it.

"While these technologies are not perfect, our most recent transparency report showed that we proactively find and take down almost 90% of the hate speech we remove from Facebook before anyone reports it to us up from 38% over the same period two years ago," Cohen wrote.

Facebook defines hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what it calls protected characteristics race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity and serious disease or disability.

To counter illegal hate speech online, the European Commission and four major IT companies namely Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube presented a Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online on 31st May 2016 as per the EU. Since then, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat, Dailymotion and Jeuxvideo.com joined the Code.

Facebook Transparency report stated that the action taken on content increased from 5.7 million pieces of content in Q4 2019 to 9.6 million in Q1 2020. "We expanded our proactive detection technology for hate speech to new languages, in addition to making improvements to our English detection technology. Our proactive rate also increased as a result," Facebook stated.

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