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Facebook Inc. recently announced it has taken down over 583 million fake profiles in the first three months of 2018, and claimed that most were removed in just a few minutes after they were created and made public.

Facebook also said it culled 837 million pieces of spam and responded to 2.5 million examples of what it defined as ‘hate speech’, it said in its first-time report on how it will go about enforcing community standards.

Facebook has been under strong public and media pressure (and cross-border governmental pressure) following the Cambridge Analytica scandal in April. The company has been forced to defend itself from criticisms over its community management standards and data protection and data security issues which have caused mass drop-outs in active user numbers.

Facebook’s total community is 2.2 billion monthly users, although it’s unclear how many of these profiles are real or actually being used. Governments around the world have been questioning the Menlo Park California-based company’s policies.

Facebook’s report, which is apparently going to be distributed twice a year now, highlights the importance of AI in administering its systems. The report says: The conclusion from the first metrics is that some problems are better suited to computerized solutions than others. Almost 100 percent of the spam and 96 percent of the adult nudity was flagged for takedown, with the help of technology, before any Facebook users complained about it. But only 38 percent of hate speech was noticed by the AI. Hate speech is harder to deal with because computers often can’t understand the meaning of a sentence — such as the difference between someone using a racial slur to attack somebody, and someone telling a story about that slur”.

“It’s a work in progress always,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management, said in a briefing. “These are the same metrics we’re using internally to guide the metrics of the teams. We’re sharing them here because we think we need to be accountable.”

 

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