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Facebook says it took down 2 million terrorism posts in 2018

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company's Tuesday publication of its preliminary enforcement numbers against posts violating its standards is an effort hold the company accountable. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI
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By Sommer Brokaw, UPI

Facebook said Tuesday it took down nearly 2 million posts related to terrorist propaganda this year before users reported them.

The social media network took action against 1.9 million posts containing Islamic State, al-Qaida and related terrorism propaganda before users reported them in the first quarter of this year, Facebook said in a report.

Some 99.5 percent of the terrorism-related content was flagged by artificial intelligence technology.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously mentioned flagging of this content at his Senate hearing in April.

"Today, as we sit here, 99 percent of the ISIS and al-Qaida content that we take down on Facebook, our AI systems flag before any human sees it," Zuckerberg said at the hearing.

The number of terrorism-related posts are up 73 percent -- from 1.1 million terrorism-related posts last quarter, the Verge reported.

However, the enforcement component is also up with 99.5 percent of the posts flagged compared to 97 percent the previous quarter.

Increased enforcement was due to improvements in data technology including "using photo-matching" to match photos "previously marked as disturbing," the report said.

The report is the company's first publication of its enforcement numbers against violations of its community standards. These violations include graphic violence, adult nudity, terrorist propaganda, bullying, hate speech and fake accounts. The report covered the period from October to March.

Other findings in a release from Facebook showed that the company took down 21 million posts for adult nudity. It also took down or applied warning labels to 3.5 million posts of graphic violence, and removed 2.5 million hate speech posts, 837 million spam posts and 583 million fake accounts in the first quarter of this year.

An estimated 3 to 4 percent of Facebook accounts were fake accounts, the company said.

"We have a lot of work still to do to prevent abuse," Zuckerberg said. " It's partly that technology like artificial intelligence, while promising, is still years away from being effective for most bad content because context is so important."

Facebook says it has more than 2 billion users.

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