Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has put into motion plans to create a ‘Supreme Court’ of Facebook.
The billionaire first mentioned the idea last year as a response to the continued privacy failings of the world’s biggest social network.
This week, he fleshed out the proposal. He said the forthcoming ‘Independent Content Council’ will be a body capable of making binding decisions about the site – decisions that he can’t overturn.
‘We know that our systems can feel opaque, and people should have a way to hold us accountable and make sure that we’re enforcing our standards fairly,’ Zuckerberg told reporters.
‘This independent oversight board will look at some of our hardest casts and the decisions it makes will be binding. That means that even if our teams, or even if I disagree with its decisions, we won’t be able to overturn them.’
Facebook has also revealed it has seen a steep increase in the amount of fake accounts being created and has had to step up efforts to take them down.
Between October 2018 and March 2019, the social network says it disabled 3.3 billion fake accounts.
It estimates that fake accounts represent about 5% of its monthly active users globally.
The vast majority were detected automatically, using technology to identify and remove millions of fake accounts within minutes of their creation, the social network said.
Using AI to proactively catch bad actors has prevented some people from even seeing fake accounts, Zuckerberg said, though he did not disclose the origin of the spammers behind them.
Facebook also took action on a record amount of hate speech, according to its third Community Standards Enforcement Report, targeting 3.3 million between October and December, and four million between January and March.
More than a quarter (1.1 million) in the first three months of 2019 received appeals from people to reverse their decision, though only 130,000 were restored following these complaints.
In a bid to be more transparent about details of its operations, Facebook is revealing stats about appeals for the first time, as well as adding metrics for the removal of posts selling drugs and guns. Results also show that Facebook is still largely reliant on people reporting incidents of bullying and harassment rather than detecting them automatically, with 85.9% from January to March reported by users first.
‘On bullying and harassment, we still have a lot of work to do,’ Mr Zuckerberg admitted.
The amount of content found containing child nudity and sexual exploitation has fallen since reporting started in July 2018 to 5.4 million in the first three months of 2019, down from 6.8 million in the previous quarter and 8.8 million in the quarter before that.
However, Facebook said a bug had impacted its ability to store hashes of violating videos that were already removed, making it harder to detect other instances of the same video if it was shared. It has since fixed the bug and is currently trying to remove any content it missed.
From next year, Facebook will start publishing its transparency reports quarterly and said its next report will also include data on Instagram for the first time.
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