Social network to hire thousands in bid to tackle hate speech.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg late on Tuesday revealed that 2 billion people now use the social network.
Expanding on Tuesday’s milestone announcement in a separate statement, Facebook said more than 800 million people like something on Facebook every day, while more than 1 billion people use Facebook Groups every month.
This time last year, Facebook’s membership stood at 1.71 billion monthly active users.
"We’re making progress connecting the world, and now let’s bring the world closer together," Zuckerberg said.
Indeed, Facebook is keen to show it is doing its part to protect its 2 billion members, taking aim at the spread of fake news and hate speech in particular.
Earlier on Tuesday, Richard Allan, EMEA vice president of public policy at Facebook, said the company plans to hire an extra 3,000 staff over the next 12 months who will be tasked specifically with addressing harmful content such as hate speech. This is on top of the 4,500 employees already working on it.
"We are opposed to hate speech in all its forms, and don’t allow it on our platform," Allan said, noting that Facebook has removed 66,000 posts flagged as hate speech per week over the last two months.
Tackling the issue is a difficult task, Allan said, because defining hate speech, determining the intent behind a post, and placing posts in a broader context, means a lot is left open to interpretation. Facebook’s AI technology is not yet up to the task, so for now the company needs people to take on the job.
Even then, mistakes will be made, Allan conceded.
"If we fail to remove content that you report because you think it is hate speech, it feels like we’re not living up to the values in our Community Standards. When we remove something you posted and believe is a reasonable political view, it can feel like censorship," he said. "We know how strongly people feel when we make such mistakes, and we’re constantly working to improve our processes and explain things more fully."