Wednesday, 25 November, 2020

For ever 10,000 views of content, 11 had hate speech, reveals Facebook

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Cecil Davis | 21 November, 2020, 21:25

Although the company points to its community standards enforcement report to show their AI improving, in the open letter, employees said their return to the office showed "the AI wasn't up to the job".

For the first time, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has unveiled the amount of hate speech on its social media platform.

Facebook also said it took action on 22.1 million pieces of hate speech content in the third quarter, about 95% of which was proactively identified.

A group of more than 200 Facebook content moderators, as well as some full-time employees, a href="https://www.foxglove.org.uk/news/open-letter-from-content-moderators-re-pandemic" *they wrote in an open letter to Facebook and the company's contractors that manage content moderators, Accenture and Covalen.

To enforce standards and guidelines, the first step would be to detect violations. Users can manually report a post which they think violates Facebook's or Instagram's rules.

Facebook removed some of the content, however even though I flagged it to Facebook, some of it is still there - a week after I reported it.

The update comes just days after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke to Congress about internet regulation, during which he repeatedly pointed out the company's reliance on algorithms to spot terrorist and child-exploitation content before anyone sees it.

The workers' letter said the current environment highlights the need for human moderators. But between its AI systems and its human content moderators, Facebook says it's detecting and removing 95% of hate content before anyone sees it.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies remotely via videoconference in this screengrab made from video during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled
Coronavirus: Facebook accused of forcing staff back to offices

"Our goal is to remove hate speech any time we become aware of it, but we know we still have progress to make".

He also detailed the challenges of determining what constitutes hate speech, writing, "We define hate speech as anything that directly attacks people based on protected characteristics including race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity or serious disability or disease", but adding, "Language continues to evolve, and a word that was not a slur yesterday may become one tomorrow". However, today, a couple of congresspeople-Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.)-sent a letter to Zuckerberg complaining that Facebook hasn't done enough in the wake of the election to explicitly label Donald Trump's baseless claims that the election was "stolen" from him as false. All of this helps Facebook develop AI with greater language understanding capabilities.

It also emerged that an ex-Facebook employee believed the company was unable to tackle misinformation.

Facebook introduced SimSearchNet++, which played a huge role in detecting misinformation. Misinformation it considers less unsafe is sent to the company's fact checkers for debunking.

Over the course of Q3, Facebook said it took action on 22.1m pieces of hate speech content, 95pc of which was spotted by the company before it was reported by a user.

The company has also taken down 19.2 million pieces of violent and graphic content and 3.5 million pieces of bullying and harassment content on Facebook, and relatively lower numbers on Instagram with 4.1 million and 2.6 million, respectively.

And while strides have been made in proactive detection of hate speech, the platform still has a lot of work to do.

Rosen did talk about the company's innovations in AI Technology.

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