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Facebook publishes the latest update on hate speech, fake accounts, and removal of the content in its community standards enforcement report in the first quarter of 2021.
In terms of enforcement measures – Facebook has shared a complete coverage of its numerous enforcement efforts, which details the company’s progress in detecting post-breaking content, including nudity, hate speech, and violent content. In its last report, Facebook reported that nudity prevalence ranged between 0.03 and 0.04% on Facebook and Instagram, while violent and graphic content cases were down slightly from the previous quarter.
The meaning of ‘prevalence’ isn’t entirely clear in this context. Facebook can enforce what it finds, and how it supports it, so even though it continues to claim minimal exposure, that’s taken from what its analytics found, not what cannot be enforced. According to Facebook’s system, the number could theoretically be much higher – but it seems like it is improving at combating these key elements.
Furthermore, Facebook states that it is improving its detection of hate speech, a key concern on its platform.
According to Facebook:
“In Q1, [the prevalence of hate speech]was 0.05-0.06%, or 5 to 6 views per 10,000 views.”
Which is good, and down on the 8 views per 10k that Facebook Publishes reported back in February. But Facebook has 1.9 daily billion active users. Let’s say that each of these people is viewing 10 posts per day, which would be a low estimate. Even at 0.05% exposure, that would still mean that the platform is facilitating millions of views of hate speech, every single day.
Facebook will still be unable to eliminate all instances of this, but the scope of the problem is still worth considering. It is important to note that even if Facebook finds and removes these offending posts very effectively, unreported content in private groups and messaging still reaches many people – and those estimates do not include unreported content in WhatsApp. As well as the information mentioned above, Facebook also reports that it has taken action on 8.8 million pieces of bullying and harassment content on Facebook, and 5.5 million instances of bullying and harassment on Instagram.