Facebook sees jump in posts removed for promoting violence, hate speech

Facebook sees jump in posts removed for promoting violence, hate speech
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Social media giant Facebook on Tuesday released its biannual Community Standards Enforcement Report, which showed an uptick in posts removed for promoting hate speech and violence.

On the main Facebook site, the company said that it removed 9.6 million pieces of content that contained hate speech in the first quarter of 2020, up from 5.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2019.

For posts originating from organized hate groups, Facebook removed around 4.7 million pieces of content in the first months of 2020, an increase of more than 3 million from the last quarter of 2019.

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While the amount of problematic content increased, the company said that it increased its "proactive detection rate" for both Facebook and Instagram.

"We increased our proactive detection rate for organized hate, the percentage of content we remove that we detect before someone reports it to us, from 89.6% in Q4 2019 to 96.7% in Q1 2020," Facebook said in a statement about the report.

"We saw similar progress on Instagram where our proactive detection rate increased from 57.6% to 68.9%, and we removed 175,000 pieces of content in Q1 2020, up from 139,800 the previous quarter," the company said.

The social media leader has often received criticism for its techniques used to find and remove hateful, violent or otherwise harmful content, but it reiterated its commitment to continually improving its standards practices.

"Over the last six months, we’ve started to use technology more to prioritize content for our teams to review based on factors like virality and severity among others," the company said. "Going forward, we plan to leverage technology to also take action on content, including removing more posts automatically."

Facebook added that its next Community Standards Enforcement Report would be released in August.