Facebook on Friday said it took action against 26.9 million pieces of content for hate speech in the December 2020 quarter, and the prevalence of such content on the platform declined to 7-8 views for every 10,000 content views globally. Facebook, which has 1.84 billion daily users globally, has drawn flak in the past for its handling of hate speech on the platform in India that is among its biggest markets.
“This quarter, hate speech prevalence dropped from 0.10-0.11 per cent to 0.07-0.08 per cent, or 7 to 8 views of hate speech for every 10,000 views of content,” Facebook Vice President Integrity Guy Rosen said in a blogpost. He added that the prevalence of violent and graphic content also dropped from 0.07 per cent to 0.05 per cent, and adult nudity content dropped from 0.05-0.06 per cent to 0.03-0.04 per cent.
Rosen explained that improvements in prevalence rates are mainly due to changes made to reduce problematic content in News Feed. “Each post is ranked by processes that take into account a combination of integrity signals, such as how likely a piece of content is to violate our policies, as well as signals we receive from people, such as from surveys or actions they take on our platform like hiding or reporting posts,” he said.
Facebook’s proactive rate – the percentage of content actioned before a user reported it – for bullying and harassment went from 26 per cent in September quarter to 49 per cent in December quarter on Facebook, and 55 per cent to 80 per cent on Instagram, he added. “On Facebook in Q4, we took action on 6.4 million pieces of organised hate content, up from 4 million in Q3…26.9 million pieces of hate speech content, up from 22.1 million in Q3…” he noted.
On Instagram, action was taken on 308,000 pieces of organised hate content in the December 2020 quarter (up from 224,000 in September quarter) and 6.6 million pieces of hate speech content (up from 6.5 million in the previous quarter). “This year, we plan to share additional metrics on Instagram and add new policy categories on Facebook. We’re also working to make our enforcement data easier for people to understand by making these reports more interactive,” Rosen said.
The goal is to lead the technology industry in transparency, and Facebook continues to share more enforcement metrics as part of this effort, he added. “We will continue building on this progress and improving our technology and enforcement efforts to keep harmful content off of our apps,” he said.