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Facebook deletes 66K posts a week in anti-hate campaign

28 June 2017

Even Facebook admits it's having a hard time tackling hate speech.

Facebook is deleting about 66,000 posts a week as the social media giant cracks down on what it considers to be hate speech. Facebook said it restored the post and apologized. At the end of the day, though, Facebook relies on its community and users to report hate speech. The post runs through the difficulties of defining hate speech across different countries, teaching AI to handle its nuances, and separating intentionally hateful posts from ones that describe hate speech to critique it, The Verge says. Workers review the posts and decide whether to take them down.

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Earlier this month, Facebook highlighted its efforts to combat terrorism online through a combination of artificial intelligence and trained experts.

The blog post said that, while deleting posts deemed offensive to others "can feel like censorship", Facebook is working to improve its filtering processes and maintain transparency about its standards.

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This is a problem that goes beyond hate speech; as leaked moderation guidelines showed, there's a frustratingly fine line versus serious and non-serious threats. He said while there are some close calls, Facebook "too often" gets it wrong. "But sometimes, there isn't a clear consensus - because the words themselves are ambiguous, the intent behind them is unknown or the context around them is unclear", Allan continues.

Allan cited an instance involving Shaun King, the renowned New York-based activist and writer who posted hate mail that included slurs. Allan added Facebook is "experimenting" with technologies that could eventually help to automatically filter offensive language.

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However, they also acknowledge that they've made mistakes.

Facebook deletes 66K posts a week in anti-hate campaign