Friday November 15, 2019
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Facebook Grooming 7,500 Content Reviewers for Objectionable Posts

Facebook said it has a team of four clinical psychologists across three regions who are tasked with designing, delivering and evaluating resiliency programmes for everyone who works with graphic and objectionable content

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Facebook
Facebook unveils new VR headset 'Oculus Quest'. Pixabay

After facing ire over reports that its moderators protect far-right activists and under-age accounts, Facebook says it is constantly grooming over 7,500 content reviewers how to handle posts related to hate speeches, terror and child sexual exploitation on its platform.

The content reviewers are a mix of full-time employees, contractors and companies Facebook partners with — covering every time zone and over 50 languages across the world.

“Content review at this size has never been done before. After all, there has never been a platform where so many people communicate in so many different languages across so many different countries and cultures. We recognise the enormity of this challenge and the responsibility we have to get it right,” Ellen Silver, Vice President of Operations at Facebook, wrote in a blog post on Friday.

“Language proficiency is key and it lets us review content around the clock. If something is reported in a language that we don’t support 24/7, we can work with translation companies and other experts who can help us understand local context and language to assist in reviewing it,” Silver added.

The company came under heavy criticism Channel 4 Dispatches — a documentary series — sent an undercover reporter to work as a content moderator in a Dublin-based Facebook contractor.

It showed that moderators at Facebook were preventing Pages from far-right activists from being deleted even after they violate the rules.

In a blog post, Monika Bickert, Vice President of Global Policy Management at Facebook, said the TV report on Channel 4 in the UK raised important questions about their policies and processes.

Facebook said it audits a sample of reviewer decisions each week to find out if a wrong call was made.
Facebook said it audits a sample of reviewer decisions each week to find out if a wrong call was made. VOA

Facebook has also promised to double the number of people working on its safety and security teams this year to 20,000.

Silver said the company is training its team of content reviewers in three areas — pre-training which includes what to expect on the job; hands-on learning that includes a minimum of 80 hours with a live instructor followed by hands-on practice and ongoing coaching.

“We want to keep personal perspectives and biases out of the equation entirely — so, in theory, two people reviewing the same posts would always make the same decision. Of course, judgments can vary if policies aren’t sufficiently prescriptive.

Facebook said it audits a sample of reviewer decisions each week to find out if a wrong call was made.

Also Read: Facebook Says It Can’t Protect Users Alone Day After Stock Collapses

“Our auditors are even audited on a regular basis. In addition, we have leadership at each office to provide guidance, as well as weekly check-ins with policy experts to answer any questions,” said the social media giant.

Facebook said it has a team of four clinical psychologists across three regions who are tasked with designing, delivering and evaluating resiliency programmes for everyone who works with graphic and objectionable content.

“This group also works with our vendor partners and their dedicated resiliency teams to help build industry standards,” said Silver. (IANS)

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India Second to US in Demanding Facebook User Data, Requests Up by 37%

Globally, in the first half of 2019, government requests for user data increased by 16 per cent from 110,634 to 128,617

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India, US, Facebook
The US government sent Facebook total 50,741 requests about users' data in the same period. Pixabay

The Indian government was second to the US in requesting Facebook for access to users’ data in the first six months of this year — an increase of nearly 37 per cent from the second half (July-December period) last year.India

The Indian government sent Facebook 22,684 queries about users in the above mentioned period and the social networking giant provided data in 54 per cent of the request, according to Facebook’s Transparency Report.

The US government sent Facebook total 50,741 requests about users’ data in the same period.

Globally, in the first half of 2019, government requests for user data increased by 16 per cent from 110,634 to 128,617.

India, US, Facebook
The Indian government sent Facebook 22,684 queries about users in the above mentioned period and the social networking giant provided data in 54 per cent of the request, according to Facebook’s Transparency Report. Pixabay

“Of the total volume, the US continues to submit the largest number of requests, followed by India, the UK, Germany and France,” said Chris Sonderby, VP & Deputy General Counsel, said in a statement on Thursday.

In the US, Facebook received 50,741 requests, representing an increase of 23 per cent more requests than last half, which is consistent with trends over time.

“We always scrutinise every government request we receive for account data to make sure it is legally valid. This is true no matter which government makes the request.

“If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary. We do not provide governments with a back doors’ to people’s information,” said Sonderby.

Also Read- Apple Releases Second Developer Beta of MacOS Catalina 10.15.2

During the reporting period, the volume of content restrictions based on local law decreased globally by 50 per cent from 35,972 to 17,807.

“This decrease follows an unusual spike last half in which we restricted 16,600 items in India based on a Delhi High Court order. Of the total volume, 58 per cent of restrictions originated from Pakistan and Mexico,” said Facebook.

The company also identified 67 disruptions of Facebook services in 15 countries, compared to 53 disruptions in nine countries in the second half of 2018.

“During this reporting period, we took down 3,234,393 pieces of content based on 568,836 copyright reports, 255,222 pieces of content based on 96,501 trademark reports and 821,727 pieces of content based on 101,582 counterfeit reports,” informed Facebook. (IANS)