Facebook is relying on AI to clean up its platform, but its own engineers are skeptical

Facebook Inc. has long said that artificial intelligence will solve the company’s long-term problems that keep it away from hate speech and excessive violence, as well as younger users from its platform.

According to internal documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, that future is far from those officials. Facebook’s AI has consistently failed to identify first-person shooting videos, racist and even a significant episode that has confused internal researchers for weeks, distinguishing between cockfighting and car accidents.

In hate speech, the documents show, Facebook

Employees have speculated that the company removes only one term that violates its rules-a low-to-single-digit percentage, they say. When Facebook’s algorithm is not sufficiently convinced that the content violates the rules for deleting it, the platform shows less of that content to users – but the accounts that post the content are penalized.

Employees were analyzing Facebook’s success in applying its own rules on content that it describes in detail in public documents, both internally and in terms of its community values.

Documents reviewed by the journal also show that Facebook reduced people’s review time toward allegations of hate speech from users two years ago, and other tweaks that reduced the overall number of complaints. This makes the company more dependent on the AI ​​application of its rules and enhances the apparent success of the technology in its public statistics.

According to the document, those responsible for keeping the platform free of content acknowledge that Facebook is offensive or dangerous and that the company is nowhere near being able to reliably screen.

An extended version of this report appears on

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