Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised earlier in 2018 that the company would spend this year fixing the social media platform to address its fake news problem. The tech company, which has over 2.2 billion users as of January 2018, is facing a lot of censure for not being able to solve the issue of hate speech, fake news and depictions of violence on its platform.
In his January post, the Facebook CEO announced a change in the Facebook News Feed, reducing the news content from 5% to roughly 4%. He added that a second major update was to ensure high-quality news: “I’ve asked our product teams to make sure we prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local. And we’re starting next week with trusted sources.”
About 200 million Facebook accounts are believed to be either fake or duplicate. Roughly 5 new profiles are created every second.
While testifying before the United States Senate, Zuckerberg accepted that Facebook does not have adequate tools to prevent fake news, hate speech, or foreign interference in elections. When asked how he is planning to prevent hate speech, the CEO said that when he started Facebook in his dorm room in 2004, they did not have the A.I. technology to look at the content people were sharing so they had to enforce their content policies reactively. This meant that people could share whatever content they wanted, and any person who found it offensive or against the policies of the social network could flag it.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook is developing A.I. tools that “can identify certain classes of bad activity proactively and flag it for our team at Facebook.” He also noted that more than 20 thousand people will be working on security and content review by the end of 2018 to look at content that has been flagged by users. He said that Facebook would take down that content that violates its policies. The CEO proudly noted that 99% of the terrorist propaganda – the content of ISIS and Al Qaida –is taken down by A.I. tools before users even see it. Finally, he said that within 5 to 10 years, Facebook would have A.I. tools that could even flag content that is not accurate.
Here are some Facebook stats
Facebook has a lot of successes that are at stake in the battle against fake news and hate speech. The social network had 1.15 billion mobile daily active users as of December 2016. According to the tech giant, mobile advertising revenue represented around 88% of the advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2017.
Facebook operates in over 61 countries and supports 142 different languages.
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