Facebook's policies how content is really removed

Facebook's policies – how much content's being removed and how it's happening 

Bottom Line: There are no shortage of controversies circling around Facebook currently. The most recent is the revelation that at least 3 million users did have information being mined in a potentially compromising way by another quiz app (one of the 200 apps it suspended earlier this week). But one of the long-standing controversies has been about how content is suspended, removed or blocked. Many claim there's a potential political bias in that process as well. That's unclear but we know how much content is being taken down and how it's happening – this after YouTube recently released similar information upping the pressure on Facebook to disclose. Here are some of the key takeaways from the first quarter of 2018... 

  • 583 million fake accounts were disabled (avg. 19,400 per day!) 

  • 837 million pieces of spam removed 

  • 21 million pieces of nudity removed 

  • 3.5 million pieces of graphic violence removed 

  • 2.5 million pieces of "hate speech" removed 

The biggest surprise is the prevalence of the fake accounts. You've probably come across spammers and questionable fan requests but it's likely far more pervasive than you might've imagined. The odds are that you very rarely do come across fake material however. Just under 1 in 1000 posts on Facebook are fake/spam.  

We also received insight into how material is reviewed and removed. Generally, it's Facebook's technology that's doing it, but it depends. Here's the percentage of material removed automatically via Facebook's automated technology... 

  • 96% of all nudity  

  • 86% of violence 

  • 38% of "hate speech" 

So, for example, if you're concerned about bias/subjective interpretation of what "hate speech" is, with inconsistent results...you might well be right to question what's going on. Most of it is removed by a person which would be subjective to their interpretation based on Facebook's policy. Also of note, Facebook said that world-wide government requests for user data was up 4% year over year but it was flat in the US. 

 

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