Facebook pulls down 11.6 million posts on child abuse

In the latest update, Facebook has pulled down harmful content from its platform. The figures released suggest 11.6 million pieces of inappropriate content was removed between July to September 2019. According to sources, the content was related to child sexual exploitation and child nudity.

Furthermore, Facebook has also released figures for Instagram for the first time. The figures include the number of posts which are related to self-harm and suicide.

The recent development has allegedly resulted due to the death of the 14-year old Molly Russell. In 2017, Russell killed herself following which her father found graphic material about suicide and self-harm on her Instagram account.

According to Facebook’s fourth Community Standards Enforcement Report, 11.6 million pieces of content concerning child nudity and child sexual exploitation were taken down from Facebook and 754,000 from Instagram.

Furthermore, more than 99% of the content was “proactively detected”. This also hinted that the firm had relied upon third-part reports for 100,000 examples.

Content related to suicide and self-harm were also pulled down from Facebook (2.5 million pieces) and 845,000 from Instagram. Posts based on drug-sales (4.4. million pieces) were also removed from Facebook and Instagram (1.5 million).  Content on firearm sales was pulled down from Facebook (2.3 million) and 58,600 from Instagram. In addition, 133,300 pieces of terrorist-propaganda was also taken down from Instagram.

According to reports, Facebook had removed more than 99% of content related to Al-Qaeda along with content of their affiliates.

Although Facebook has deleted harmful data from its platform, in the future, the content should be hampered by Facebook’s self-styled “pivot to privacy” as was announced by the social network’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

As part of the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Zuckerberg also announced that the feature of end-to-end encryption of Facebook-owned WhatsApp will also be extended to Instagram and Facebook Messenger. He acknowledged this as a “trade-off” which would in return benefit child sex abusers and other criminals.