For those that have found Facebook’s transparency efforts a little, well, opaque, the company’s now launched a new one-stop-shop Transparency Center.
Alongside its biannual transparency report on government data requests, it’s announced that the center will hold information on the company’s policies and how they are developed and updated; how they’re enforced by human reviewers and technology; and how the company attempts to safeguard elections and combat misinformation.
“We’ll continue to add more information and build out the Transparency Center as our integrity efforts continue to evolve,” says Facebook’s VP for integrity Guy Rosen.
The company’s latest community standards report presents the numbers on nudity, graphic content and violence in terms of a percentage of total posts – which naturally makes for very small numbers indeed.
On both Facebook and Instagram, they hover around the 0.01 to 0.04 per cent mark. It’s worth noting, though, that the sheer volume of content on the platform means that this still represents a lot of posts.
In terms of hate speech, says Facebook, its AI systems are working, finding and removing around 97 per cent of posts before they’ve been reported by a user.
During the first quarter, it took down 9.8 million pieces of organized hate content from the Facebook site, up from 6.4 million in the last quarter of last year.
“We evaluate the effectiveness of our enforcement by trying to keep the prevalence of hate speech on our platform as low as possible, while minimizing mistakes in the content that we remove,” says Rosen.
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The company also removed 8.8 million pieces of bullying and harassment content, up from 6.3 million, and 25.2 million pieces of hate speech content, compared with 26.9 million during Q4 2020.
On Instagram it took action on 5.5 million pieces of bullying and harassment content, during the quarter, along with 324,500 pieces of organized hate content and 6.3 million pieces of hate speech content.
And since the start of the pandemic, the company says it’s removed more than 18 million pieces of Covid-related misinformation from Facebook and Instagram.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s latest transparency report on government requests for user data reveals that during the last six months of 2020, government requests for user data rose by ten per cent to 191,013.
The US once again submitted the largest number of requests, followed by India, Germany, France, Brazil and the UK. In the US, Facebook received 61,262 requests – much the same as in the first half of 2020.
“As we have said in prior reports, we always scrutinize every government request we receive to make sure it is legally valid, no matter which government makes the request,” says Chris Sonderby, VP and deputy general counsel.
“If we determine that a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back and will fight in court, if necessary. We do not provide governments with ‘back doors’ to people’s information.”