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Facebook Reports Increased Posts of Graphic Violence in Q1 2018

It said the growth was a possible result of a higher volume of graphic violence content shared on Facebook in the first three months of this year

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LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay

Facebook on Tuesday unveiled for the first time a transparency report that shows an increasing number of posts identified as containing graphic violence in the first of quarter of 2018.

“Of every 10,000 content views, an estimate of 22 to 27 contained graphic violence, compared to an estimate of 16 to 19 last quarter,” Xinhua quoted the report as saying.

It said the growth was a possible result of a higher volume of graphic violence content shared on Facebook in the first three months of this year.

Facebook defines content of graphic violence as the information that glorifies violence or celebrates the suffering or humiliation of others, which it says may be covered with a warning and prevented from being shown to underage viewers.

The report said Facebook has removed or put a warning screen for graphic violence in front of 3.4 million pieces of content in the first quarter, nearly triple the 1.2 million a quarter earlier.

Facebook.
Facebook. Pixabay

Facebook said it has recently developed metrics as a way to review the content shared on its platform and the transparency report reviewed the content posted in the community during the period from October 2017 through March 2018.

The content audited included graphic violence, hate speech, adult nudity and sexual activity, spam, terrorist propaganda (IS,al-Qaeda and affiliates) and fake accounts.

Facebook took action against 2.5 million pieces of content in the first quarter, up 56 per cent over the previous quarter.

It also took action on 837 million pieces of content for spam, 21 million for adult nudity or sexual activity and 1.9 million for promoting terrorism.

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A total of 583 million fake accounts have been disabled in the quarter, down from 694 million in the first quarter of 2017, according to the report.

“We estimate that fake accounts represented approximately 3-4 per cent of monthly active users on Facebook during Q1 2018 and Q4 2017,” the report said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post also on Tuesday that his company is employing Artificial Intelligence tools to remove spam before users report it. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Allows Ads to Promote Anti-vaccine Content

“We’re currently working on additional changes that we’ll be announcing soon.”

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facebook has enabled advertisers to promote anti-vaccine content to nearly nine lakh people interested in “vaccine controversies”, the media reported.

The social networking giant is already facing pressure to stop promoting anti-vaccine propaganda to users amid global concern over vaccine hesitancy and a measles outbreak in the Pacific northwest.

Advertisers pay to reach groups of people on Facebook which include those interested in “Dr Tenpenny on Vaccines”, which refers to anti-vaccine activist Sherri Tenpenny, and “informed consent”, which is language that anti-vaccine propagandists have adopted to fight vaccination laws, The Guardian reported on Friday.

On Thursday, California congressman Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, in letters to Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, urged them to take more responsibility for health-related misinformation on their platforms.

“The algorithms which power these services are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation or misleading information, and the consequences of that are particularly troubling for public health issues,” Schiff wrote.

“I am concerned by the report that Facebook accepts paid advertising that contains deliberate misinformation about vaccines,” he added.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In 2017, ProPublica, a US-based non-profit organisation, revealed that the platform included targeting categories for people interested in a number of anti-Semitic phrases, such as “How to burn Jews” or “Jew hater”.

While the anti-Semitic categories found by ProPublica were automatically generated and were too small to run effective ad campaigns by themselves, the “vaccine controversies” category contains nearly nine lakh people, and “informed consent” from about 340,000. The Tenpenny category only includes 720 people, which is too few to run a campaign.

Facebook declined to comment on the ad targeting categories, but said it was looking into the issue, The Guardian reported.

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“We’ve taken steps to reduce the distribution of health-related misinformation on Facebook, but we know we have more to do,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement responding to Schiff’s letter.

“We’re currently working on additional changes that we’ll be announcing soon.” (IANS)