Facebook Is Hiring 3,000 Moderators In Push To Curb Violent Videos

Since Facebook FB -0.75% widely launched live video streaming early last year, the feature has recurrently been used as a tool to broadcast shootings and suicides. In many cases, the social network has publicly struggled to monitor these instances, taking hours to remove violent videos that breach its policies, or failing to attach warnings to sensitive videos quickly enough.

On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company has a plan to curb the spread of violent videos on the social network. Zuckerberg said in Facebook post on Wednesday that the company will hire 3,000 additional employees over the next year to review reports of violent content, whether in live video streams or in Facebook posts, as well as to better moderate other types of banned content, such as hate speech and child exploitation. The 3,000 new hires will bring Facebook’s global operations team, which reviews flagged content, to a headcount of 7,500. The new hires will be focused on reviewing the millions of reports Facebook receives every week, and on finding ways to expedite the process.

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“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook — either live or in video posted later,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “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.”

To improve the moderation process, Zuckerberg said Facebook is building tools to make it easier for users to report video and other content formats. The company is also working to find ways to shorten the time it takes moderators to determine if content violates Facebook’s policies, and make it easier for reviewers to contact law enforcement if someone is in danger. Zuckerberg said Facebook will work with local community groups and law enforcement to support this effort.

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“Just last week, we got a report that someone on Live was considering suicide,” Zuckerberg said. “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.”

Zuckerberg recently publicly acknowledged the moderation issue at Facebook’s annual F8 Developer conference in April, addressing the murder of Robert Godwin Sr. in Cleveland, Ohio. The shooting was broadcast in a video on Facebook for hours before the company took it down. “We have a lot of work and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” Zuckerberg said on stage.

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