Facebook Plans to Add New Staff to Improve Community Safety

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook announced the company plans to hire 3,000 people to help ensure improved community safety. The decision is in response to the disturbing trend where people harm themselves or others and post the video on Facebook.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook — either live or in video posted later. It’s heartbreaking, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can do better for our community.” – Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post on May 3, 2017.

The new staff will join the 4,500 existing staff within the community operations team. This team reviews content flagged by Facebook users. The planned addition represents a 64% increase in staff power.

“These reviewers will also help us get better at removing things we don’t allow on Facebook like hate speech and child exploitation. And we’ll keep working with local community groups and law enforcement who are in the best position to help someone if they need it — either because they’re about to harm themselves, or because they’re in danger from someone else.” – Zuckerberg54untitled

Will This Make A Difference In Facebook’s Community Safety?

Facebook has around 2 billion users. It doesn’t seem likely that this team can prevent every tragic incident. However, they may cut down on situations where violent content remains for hours like the infamous Easter Sunday Cleveland homicide where the killer posted a video of himself shooting a stranger. That post was visible for over two hours before Facebook removed it.

The expanded team may improve on Facebook’s preventative and proactive efforts. Faster action may save lives as the community operations team already showed.

“Just last week, we got a report that someone on Live was considering suicide. 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.” Explained Zuckerberg, “No one should be in this situation in the first place, but if they are, then we should build a safe community that gets them the help they need.”54social-network-76532_640

Other Community Safety Improvements May Be Coming

Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook is working on creating new tools and improving existing reporting functions.

In addition to investing in more people, we’re also building better tools to keep our community safe. We’re going to make it simpler to report problems to us, faster for our reviewers to determine which posts violate our standards and easier for them to contact law enforcement if someone needs help. As these become available they should help make our community safer.” – Zuckerberg

What do you think Facebook should do to protect users from violent and disturbing content? Do you feel it is their responsibility?

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