Facebook Violent Videos Have Value, Moderator Trainees Told


The average page gets removed if five or more of its posts break Facebook's guidelines, but really popular ones operate under a different set of standards.

During a training session to join the moderation team, the British broadcaster's undercover reporter was shown a cartoon of a girl appearing to be drowned with the caption: "When your daughter's first crush is a little negro boy".

Moderators were given three options when reviewing a queue of material: Ignore, delete, or mark as disturbing.

A moderator filmed for the documentary said: "If you start censoring too much then people stop using the platform. It's all about money at the end of the day".

On Tuesday evening Channel 4's investigative journalism programme Dispatches ran a piece detailing questionable inner policies in Dublin's Facebook offices.

The statements are a response to several claims made in the same documentary, which is anchored by the findings of an undercover reporter implanted back in March in CPL Resources, Facebook's largest center for United Kingdom moderation.

A Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying that "it wasn't the company's responsibility to take down such content unless asked to by the content's rights holders". A comment aimed at Muslim immigrants that said "f**k off back to your own countries" was allowed to remain on the site.

The post goes on to reiterate how Facebook creates and enforces its policies, and how its content moderation teams operate, noting that Facebook is doubling the number of people working on its safety and security teams this year to 20,000, including over 7,500 content reviewers.

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"Facebook understood that it was desirable to have people spend more time on site".

While content depicting violence and other extreme behavior tends to be left online, other less aggressive content is being blocked amid Facebook's political crackdown.

Facebook claims that some of what was discussed in the program does not reflect their policies or values.

In the documentary, Facebook's Vice President of Global Policy, Richard Allan, said: "You've identified some areas where we've failed, and I'm here today to apologize for those failings".

He added that Facebook took mistakes in its training processes and enforcement "incredibly seriously" and was "grateful to the journalists" who brought it to their attention. A company executive was also interviewed on Channel 4, acknowledging the problems.

"It's the really extreme, really risky form of content that attracts the most highly engaged people on the platform". He said: "Shocking content does not make us more money, that's just a misunderstanding of how the system works".

The practice is largely applied to the pages of news organizations or governments but was extended to Britain First, a one-time far-right political party whose leaders are now jailed for religiously aggravated harassment, and ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson, also in jail for contempt of court.