Facebook Details Steps to Curb Hate Speech in Sri Lanka, Myanmar
Facebook is taking a more “aggressive approach against people and groups who regularly violate our policies.”
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Facebook says it has been able to detect and remove “considerably more hate speech than before” as it faces criticism over failure to keep a check on content that promotes violence.
In a blog post published recently, the company said it was making fundamental changes to products to “address virality and reduce the spread of content that can amplify and exacerbate violence and conflict.”
In Sri Lanka, Facebook has explored “adding friction to message forwarding so that people can only share a message with a certain number of chat threads on Facebook Messenger.”
This is similar to a change the company made to WhatsApp earlier this year to reduce forwarded messages around the world.
According to the blog, Facebook is taking a more “aggressive approach against people and groups who regularly violate our policies.”
“In Myanmar, we have started to reduce the distribution of all content shared by people who have demonstrated a pattern of posting content that violates our Community Standards, an approach that we may roll out in other countries if it proves successful in mitigating harm.”
“ In cases where individuals or organizations more directly promote or engage violence, we will ban them under our policy against dangerous individuals and organizations. Reducing distribution of content is, however, another lever we can pull to combat the spread of hateful content and activity. “
The company said it is using new applications of Artificial Intelligence(AI) to more “effectively combat hate speech online.”
“Memes and graphics that violate our policies, for example, get added to a photo bank so we can automatically delete similar posts. We’re also using AI to identify clusters of words that might be used in hateful and offensive ways, and tracking how those clusters vary over time and geography to stay ahead of local trends in hate speech. This allows us to remove viral text more quickly.”
The company said it was “continuing to improve our detection in local languages such as Arabic, Burmese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Bengali and Sinhalese.”
“In the past few months, we’ve been able to detect and remove considerably more hate speech than before. Globally, we increased our proactive rate — the percent of the hate speech Facebook removed that we found before users reported it to us — from 51.5% in Q3 2018 to 65.4% in Q1 2019,” the blog said.
Facebook has faced criticism for use of its platform to spread hate speech in countries like Myanmar and admitted it “can and should do more.”
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