Facebook reports spike in violent content

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWATCH Facebook reveals scale of abuse

That doesn't include what Facebook says are "millions" of fake accounts that the company catches before they can finish registering. The post said Facebook found nearly all of that content before anyone had reported it, and that removing fake accounts is the key to combating that type of content.

Getting rid of racist, sexist and other hateful remarks on Facebook is challenging for the company because computer programs have difficulties understanding the nuances of human language, the company said Tuesday. "We use technology, combined with people on our teams, to detect and act on as much violating content as possible before users see and report it".

Facebook also prohibits hate speech and said it took action against 2.5 million pieces of content in the first quarter, up 56 percent a quarter earlier.

In its first quarterly Community Standards Enforcement Report, Facebook said the overwhelming majority of moderation action was against spam posts and fake accounts: it took action on 837m pieces of spam, and shut down a further 583m fake accounts on the site in the three months.

The report did not cover the spread of false news directly, which it has previously said it was trying to stamp out by increasing transparency on who buys political ads, strengthening enforcement and making it harder for so-called "clickbait" from showing up in users' feeds.

Facebook took down or applied warnings labels to about 3.5 million pieces of violent content in Q1 2018 - 86% of which was identified by our technology before it was reported to Facebook. Tuesday's report said Facebook disabled 583 million fake accounts during the first three months of this year, down from 694 million during the previous quarter.

The report also covers fake accounts, which has gotten more attention in recent months after it was revealed that Russian agents used fake accounts to buy ads to try to manipulate Facebook users in the USA and elsewhere. The company has come under fire for failing to remove content that has incited ethnic violence in Myanmar, leading Facebook to hire more Burmese speakers.

Throughout the report, Facebook shares how the most recent quarter's numbers compare to those of the quarter before it, and where there are significant changes, it notes why that might be the case.

The report and the methods it details are Facebook's first step toward sharing how they plan to safeguard the news feed in the future.

"Yes there are clear skews in many of these metrics", said Schultz.

"All of this is under development. And it's created to make it easy for scholars, policymakers and community groups to give us feedback so that we can do better over time".

Facebook said it released the report to start a dialog about harmful content on the platform, and how it enforces community standards to combat it.

Other summits are planned on May 16 in Oxford and May 17 in Berlin.

Facebook intends to hold a series of public engagements this year to get people's feedback on its community standards, and Singapore will hold one of these "this year", according to one of its executives.

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