Facebook, Instagram new policies prevent 5.9m suicide, self-injury content

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Social media platform, Facebook has released its quarterly Community Standards Enforcement Report for October through December 2020 on the positive strides towards improvements in prevalence, providing greater transparency and accountability around content moderation operations across different Facebook products.

The report includes metrics across 12 policies on Facebook and 10 policies on Instagram that prevent and had action taken on content that went against the Community Standards while protecting its community’s safety, privacy, dignity and authenticity. 

According to the fourth-quarter report, Facebook took action on 26.9 million pieces of hate speech content, up from 22.1 million in Q3 due in part to updates in its technology in Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese, as well as 2.5 million pieces of suicide and self-injury content, up from 1.3 million in Q3, due to increased reviewer capacity.

Also, it took action on 6.3 million pieces of bullying and harassment content, up from 3.5 million in Q3 and 6.4 million pieces of organised hate content, up from 4 million in Q3 due in part to updates in its technology to detect comments.  

Also, on Instagram, the action was taken on 6.6 million pieces of hate speech content, up from 6.5 million in Q3 and 3.4 million pieces of suicide and self-injury content, up from 1.3 million in Q3 due to increased reviewer capacity.

While it also took action on five million pieces of bullying and harassment content, up from 2.6 million in Q3 and 308,000 pieces of organized hate content, up from 224,000 in Q3, due in part to updates in our technology to detect comments.

The Director of Public Policy, Africa, Kojo Boakye, said: “Our goal is to get better and more efficient at enforcing our Community Standards. We do this by increasing our use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), by prioritising the content that could cause the most immediate, widespread, and real-world harm, and by coordinating and collaborating with outside experts.”

Boakye further said that Facebook plans to share additional metrics on Instagram and add new policy categories on Facebook, adding that efforts are also being made to externally audit the metrics of these reports while making the data more interactive so people can understand it better. 

He, however, added that Facebook would continue to improve its technology and enforcement efforts to keep harmful content off of its apps.
In another development, Facebook has rolled out new security features tailored to protect Nigerian Journalists’ Facebook and linked Instagram profiles from harassment, hacking and all forms of online abuse and harm.

According to the Facebook spokesperson in a statement, people who work at news organisations across Nigeria can voluntarily register as journalists to protect their Facebook profiles, while accessing benefits, tools and features built with journalists’ needs in mind. 

The spokesperson said Facebook has also provided the option for journalists to extend this protection to their linked Instagram accounts, as registered journalists will also have access to CrowdTangle Search and can also apply for Facebook Blue Badge Verification.

This new registration feature, the spokesperson said, provides protection of information and online presence on Facebook against harassment and potential hacking threats for journalists and media professionals who are at a higher risk of online abuse and harm.

The spokesperson said registration is voluntary, adding that journalists and news media professionals are encouraged to register as a journalist using their personal Facebook account.

The spokesperson further added that Facebook is also providing this feature to journalists living in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, South Africa and Kenya.


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