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Facebook reports increased posts of graphic violence in Q1 2018


SAN FRANCISCO — 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.

FILE - In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. Facebook says it is banning foreign advertisements related to Ireland's abortion referendum, amid concerns that North American groups are trying to influence the campaign. Irish voters will decide May 25, 2018 whether to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion, in a referendum that has drawn international attention. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File/Manila Bulletin)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File/Manila Bulletin)

“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,” the report said.

It said the growth was the 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, the world’s largest social media company, 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 (ISIS, al-Qaeda and affiliates), and fake accounts.

Facebook took action against 2.5 million pieces of content in the first quarter, up 56 percent 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.

A total of 583 million fake accounts have been disabled in Q1 2018, down from 694 million in the first quarter of 2017, according to the report.

“We estimate that fake accounts represented approximately 3 percent to 4 percent 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.

“Most of the fake accounts were removed within minutes of being registered,” he said, adding that his top priorities this year are keeping people safe and developing new ways to improve governance.

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