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Child Nudity Tackles By Facebook By Removing Posts

NCMEC said it is working with Facebook to develop software to decide which tips to assess first.

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institute will help advance the growing field of ethical research on new technology and will explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI. VOA

Facebook Inc said on Wednesday that company moderators during the last quarter removed 8.7 million user images of child nudity with the help of previously undisclosed software that automatically flags such photos.

The machine learning tool rolled out over the last year identifies images that contain both nudity and a child, allowing increased enforcement of Facebook’s ban on photos that show minors in a sexualized context.

A similar system also disclosed Wednesday catches users engaged in “grooming,” or befriending minors for sexual exploitation.

Facebook’s global head of safety Antigone Davis told Reuters in an interview that the “machine helps us prioritize” and “more efficiently queue” problematic content for the company’s trained team of reviewers.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

The company is exploring applying the same technology to its Instagram app.

Under pressure from regulators and lawmakers, Facebook has vowed to speed up removal of extremist and illicit material.

Machine learning programs that sift through the billions of pieces of content users post each day are essential to its plan.

Machine learning is imperfect, and news agencies and advertisers are among those that have complained this year about Facebook’s automated systems wrongly blocking their posts.

Davis said the child safety systems would make mistakes but users could appeal.

“We’d rather err on the side of caution with children,” she said.

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A protester wearing a mask with the face of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is flanked by two fellow activists wearing angry face emoji masks, during a protest against Facebook policies, in London, Britain (From archives) VOA

Facebook’s rules for years have banned even family photos of lightly clothed children uploaded with “good intentions,” concerned about how others might abuse such images.

Before the new software, Facebook relied on users or its adult nudity filters to catch child images. A separate system blocks child pornography or child nudity that has previously been reported to authorities.

Facebook has not previously disclosed data on child nudity removals, though some would have been counted among the 21 million posts and comments it removed in the first quarter for sexual activity and adult nudity.

Facebook said the program, which learned from its collection of nude adult photos and clothed children photos, has led to more removals. It makes exceptions for art and history, such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a naked girl fleeing a Vietnam War napalm attack.

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Facebook’s head of global safety policy Antigone Davis speaks during an event at the White House. VOA

Protecting minors

The child grooming system evaluates factors such as how many people have blocked a particular user and whether that user quickly attempts to contact many children, Davis said.

Michelle DeLaune, chief operating officer at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), said the organization expects to receive about 16 million child porn tips worldwide this year from Facebook and other tech companies, up from 10 million last year.

With the increase, NCMEC said it is working with Facebook to develop software to decide which tips to assess first.

Still, DeLaune acknowledged that a crucial blind spot is encrypted chat apps and secretive “dark web” sites where much of new child pornography originates.

Also Read: Facebook Rolls Out A Simplified Version Of Messenger

Encryption of messages on Facebook-owned WhatsApp, for example, prevents machine learning from analyzing them.

DeLaune said NCMEC would educate tech companies and “hope they use creativity” to address the issue. (VOA)

Next Story

Facebook Funds India’s Fastest Growing Education Start-Up “Unacademy”

In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors

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"Facebook is an ally for India's economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it's rapidly rising Internet ecosystem," said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India. VOA

Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy.

“We thank General Atlantic and Facebook who have joined us in this journey and our existing investors who continue to be a part of the journey by supporting us. Our goal is to democratise education and become not just the largest educational organisation but the largest consumer Internet story out of India,” Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy, said in a statement.

Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital and Blume Ventures also participated in this round of funding, along with Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart and Sujeet Kumar, co-founder, Udaan, Unacademy said. “Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it’s rapidly rising Internet ecosystem,” said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India.

“With this investment in Unacademy, we are reinforcing our commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem as well as investing in a company that is transforming learning in India. We love that the company is fundamentally democratising education and driving innovation in new learning models,” Mohan said.

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Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy. Pixabay

The edtech start-up said that it would utilise the funding to further penetrate into the test preparation categories, launching more exam categories, acquiring top educators, and creating exceptional learning experiences for the learners through great content and product. In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors.

ALSO READ: Here’s how Late School Start Times Can Reduce Road Accidents

“Our goal from day one has been to democratise education and make quality education accessible to everyone. We do that by bringing the best educators and content on our platform and ensuring it is accessible to everyone across the country,” Munjal said. (IANS)