BrandArena: Fake News, Hate Speech: How Facebook is Enforcing Its Content Policy

Friday 24 May 2019

Fake News, Hate Speech: How Facebook is Enforcing Its Content Policy

Facebook has released it's most recent Enforcement Report detailing the steps it is taking toward policing the content and misuse of its platform, including the removal of more than three billion fake accounts and over seven million posts deemed to contain hate speech.

Facebook published its third Community Standards Enforcement Report today, detailing the efforts it has made in combating inappropriate, extremist, and harmful content on its network, including removing more than three million accounts determined to be fake and seven million posts flagged as containing hate speech.

"In total," Facebook said, in a blog post announcing the release, "we are now including metrics across nine policies within our Community Standards: adult nudity and sexual activity, bullying and harassment, child nudity and sexual exploitation of children, fake accounts, hate speech, regulated goods, spam, global terrorist propaganda and violence and graphic content."

For context, in its previous performance reports, Facebook has listed the platform's overall fake account levels - accounting for both 'duplicate' and 'false' accounts - at: 7% of overall accounts in 2014, 7% of overall accounts in 2015, 7% again in 2016.

Then the figure jumped to 14% in 2017 due to improved detection measures following the 2016 US Presidential Election.

Again, these numbers include both duplicate and false accounts, which are very different. But still, that is a lot of fake profiles, even with Facebook's detection processes working to restrict them.

Facebook's scale shades percentage reporting somewhat here - just 1% of 2.38b is 23 million accounts, a significant problem even at very low levels.

The social media giant says that it's doing all it can, within reason, while it's also always looking for new ways to improve. The skeptics will remain, but Facebook is held to a level of accountability through its SEC reporting obligations, and the explanations here outline exactly where there are potential drawbacks and gaps in its processes.

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