Measuring Our Progress Combating Hate Speech
How We Measure the Prevalence of Hate Speech
Prevalence estimates the percentage of times people see violating content on our platform. We calculate hate speech prevalence by selecting a sample of content seen on Facebook and then labeling how much of it violates our hate speech policies. In other words, out of every 10,000 views of content on Facebook, 10 to 11 of them included hate speech.
We specifically measure how much harmful content may be seen on Facebook and Instagram because the amount of times content is seen is not evenly distributed.
Defining and Addressing the Nuances of Hate Speech
Defining hate speech isn’t simple, as there are many differing opinions on what constitutes hate speech. Based on input from a wide array of global experts and stakeholders, we define hate speech as anything that directly attacks people based on protected characteristics, including race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity or serious disability or disease.
The Role of User Reports
Every week, people across the world report millions of pieces of content to us that they believe violate our policies. We also strive to improve our reporting tools to make it easier for people to report content they think may violate our policies, but there are limitations with this. People also often report content they may dislike or disagree with, but that does not violate our policies. For example, users may report content from rival sports teams or spoilers for TV shows they haven’t watched yet. In addition, some content may be seen by a lot of people before it is reported, so we can’t rely on user reports alone.
The Role of AI Tools and Systems
We’ve developed AI tools and systems to proactively find and remove hate speech at scale. Advancements in AI technologies have allowed us to remove more hate speech from Facebook over time, and find more of it before users report it to us. When we first began reporting our metrics for hate speech, in Q4 of 2017, our proactive detection rate was 23.6%. This means that of the hate speech we removed, 23.6% of it was found before a user reported it to us. Today we proactively detect about 95% of hate speech content we remove.
We’ve invested billions of dollars in people and technology to enforce these rules, and we have more than 35,000 people working on safety and security at Facebook. But we believe decisions about free expression and safety shouldn’t be made by Facebook alone, so we continue to consult third-party experts in shaping our policies and enforcement tactics.
With the use of prevalence, user reports and AI, we’re working to keep Facebook and Instagram inclusive and safe places for everyone who uses them.
Dec 01, 2020 at 05:12