SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook has been under pressure for its failure to remove violence, nudity, hate speech and other inflammatory content from its site. Government officials, activists and academics have long pushed the social network to disclose more about how it deals with such posts.
Facebook is pulling back the curtain on those efforts — but only so far.
On Tuesday, the Silicon Valley company published numbers for the first time detailing how much and what type of content it takes down from the social network. In an 86-page report, Facebook revealed that it deleted 865.8 million posts in the first quarter of 2018, the vast majority of which were spam, with a minority of posts related to nudity, graphic violence, hate speech and terrorism.
Facebook said it removed 583 million fake accounts in the same period. Of the accounts that remained, the company said 3 percent to 4 percent were fake.
Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management, said the company had substantially increased its efforts over the past 18 months to flag and remove inappropriate content. Facebook hopes to continue publishing reports about its content removal every six months or so.
Yet, the figures the company published were limited. Facebook declined to provide examples of graphically violent posts or hate speech that it removed, for example. The social network said it had taken down more posts from its site in the first three months of 2018 than it had during the last quarter of 2017, but it gave no specific figures from previous years.
The report did not include all the posts that Facebook had removed. A Facebook spokeswoman said other types of content had been taken down from the site in the first quarter because they violated community standards, but those were not detailed in the report.
Facebook used the report to advance a push around artificial intelligence to root out inappropriate posts.
“If we do our job really well, we can be in a place where every piece of content is flagged by artificial intelligence before our users see it,” said Alex Schultz, Facebook’s vice president of data analytics.