To do its part in cleaning up its platform of hate speeches, crime and negative posts, Facebook said it will hire about 3,000 people to do just that.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said in a post that:
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook — either live or in video posted later. It’s heartbreaking, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can do better for our community.
If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.
Over the next year, we’ll be adding 3,000 people to our community operations team around the world — on top of the 4,500 we have today — to review the millions of reports we get every week, and improve the process for doing it quickly.
These reviewers will also help us get better at removing things we don’t allow on Facebook like hate speech and child exploitation. And we’ll keep working with local community groups and law enforcement who are in the best position to help someone if they need it — either because they’re about to harm themselves, or because they’re in danger from someone else.
In addition to investing in more people, we’re also building better tools to keep our community safe. We’re going to make it simpler to report problems to us, faster for our reviewers to determine which posts violate our standards and easier for them to contact law enforcement if someone needs help. As these become available they should help make our community safer.
This is important. Just last week, we got a report that someone on Live was considering suicide. We immediately reached out to law enforcement, and they were able to prevent him from hurting himself. In other cases, we weren’t so fortunate.
No one should be in this situation in the first place, but if they are, then we should build a safe community that gets them the help they need.
The decision to sift through what goes on Facebook is part of the company’s reaction to the fallout of several cases of abuse and fake news that pervaded Facebook in the run-up to the US Presidential election.
The race to fight these negative content on Facebook will remain a tough call bearing in mind that Marck Zuckerberg said they already had about 4,500 people in the special unit monitoring and cleaning the platform.
Another dimension is that Facebook will have to tread with caution and also justify why its decisions on what to take off or leave do not amount to censorship and the effect of that on the principle of free speech.