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Facebook: Community Standards Enforcement Report, Third Quarter 2021

Prevalence of hate speech on Facebook continued to decrease for the fourth quarter in a row. We’ve cut prevalence by more than half within the last year through improvements in our technology and changes we made to reduce problematic content in News Feed.  For the first time, we’re sharing prevalence metrics for bullying and harassment…

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  • Prevalence of hate speech on Facebook continued to decrease for the fourth quarter in a row. We’ve cut prevalence by more than half within the last year through improvements in our technology and changes we made to reduce problematic content in News Feed. 
  • For the first time, we’re sharing prevalence metrics for bullying and harassment on both Facebook and Instagram, prevalence metrics for hate speech on Instagram and all metrics for violence and incitement. 
  • To validate that our metrics are measured and reported correctly, we will undergo an audit by EY covering the fourth quarter of this year, and results will be released in the Spring of 2022.

Today we’re publishing our Community Standards Enforcement Report for the third quarter of 2021. This report provides metrics on how we enforced our policies from July 2021 through September 2021. With these additional metrics we now report on 14 policy areas on Facebook and 12 on Instagram.

We’re also sharing: 

In July, we shared our first Oversight Board quarterly update covering the first quarter of 2021. In this update, we’re reporting on the details of cases we referred to the board and updates on our responses to the board about the recommendations and decisions they made. Moving forward, we will include these updates along with the Community Standards Enforcement Report. 

All of these reports are available in the Transparency Center

Highlights from the Report

Prevalence of hate speech on Facebook has continued to decrease for the fourth quarter in a row. In Q3, it was 0.03% or 3 views of hate speech per 10,000 views of content, down from 0.05%, or 5 views of hate speech per 10,000 views of content in Q2. We continue to see a reduction in hate speech due to our improvements in our technology and ranking changes that reduce problematic content in News Feed, including through improved personalization.

Chart of hate speech prevalence on Facebook for the past four quarters

Hate speech prevalence on Instagram was 0.02% for Q3, and this is our first time reporting this number. 

Chart of hate speech prevalence on Instagram from June to September 2021

In Q3, the prevalence of violence and incitement on Facebook was 0.04-0.05%, or between 4 and 5 views per 10,000 views of content, and it was 0.02%, or 2 views per 10,000 views of content, on Instagram. We removed 13.6 million pieces of content on Facebook for violating our violence and incitement policy, and we proactively detected 96.7% of this content before anyone reported it to us. On Instagram, we removed 3.3 million pieces of this content with a proactive detection rate of 96.4%. There is a range of content that we might remove under our violence and incitement policy where someone may advocate for violence or has made a statement of intent to commit violence.  Due to the potentially harmful nature of content attempting to incite violence, we over-index on safety and remove such content even if it is unclear whether the content is in jest. This could range from something serious such as instructions on how to use weapons to cause injury to a joke where one friend says to another “I’ll kill you!”. In instances where necessary, we also work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety. 

In Q3, the prevalence of bullying and harassment content was 0.14-0.15% or between 14 and 15 views of bullying and harassment content per 10,000 views of content on Facebook, and 0.05-0.06% or between 5 and 6 views per 10,000 views of content on Instagram. We removed 9.2 million pieces of bullying and harassment content on Facebook, with a proactive rate of 59.4%. And we removed 7.8 million pieces of bullying and harassment content on Instagram with a proactive rate of 83.2%. Bullying and harassment is a unique challenge and one of the most complex issues to address because context is critical. Read more about our approach and efforts to lower the prevalence of bullying and harassment

How We Reduce Harmful Content People See on Our Apps

We scale our enforcement to review millions of pieces of content across the world every day and use our technology to help detect and prioritize content that needs review. We have global review teams that review content in over 70 languages and AI technology for hate speech in over 50 languages and we continue to build technologies like RIO, WPIE and XLM-R that can help us identify harmful content faster, across languages and content type (i.e. text, image, etc.). These efforts and our continued focus on AI research help our technology scale quickly to keep our platforms safe. For countries that are experiencing or at risk for conflict, we have made multi-year investments to build teams that work with local communities, develop policies, improve our technologies, and respond to real-world developments.

We reduce prevalence of violating content in a number of ways, including improvements in detection and enforcement and reducing problematic content in News Feed. These tactics have enabled us to cut hate speech prevalence by more than half on Facebook in the past year alone, and we’re using these same tactics across policy areas like violence and incitement and bullying and harassment. To better address hate speech, bullying and harassment and violence and incitement — all of which require understanding of language, nuance and cultural norms — we deployed a new cross-problem AI system to consolidate learnings for all three to better address each violation area.

Chart explaining how we reduce the prevalence of hate speech

We’re also using warning screens to educate and discourage people from posting something that may include hostile speech such as bullying and harassment violating our Community Standards. The screens appear after someone has typed a post or comment explaining that the content may violate our rules and may be hidden or distribution reduced. Repeatedly posting this content could result in an account being disabled or deleted.

Screenshots of warning screens on Facebook and Instagram to discourage bullying and harassment

Looking Ahead

Abuse of our products isn’t static — and neither is the way we approach our integrity work. We’re continuing to evolve how we approach integrity, embedding integrity teams with product teams across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and teams that are going to build the metaverse in the years to come. Product teams tackle integrity issues as part of building and launching new products, and that includes building the metaverse.

We also remain committed to research and have just launched a Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) early access program for an API designed for academic researchers, to give them more access to data on our platforms in a secure way.

We know we’re never going to be perfect in catching every piece of harmful content. But we’re always working to improve, share more meaningful data and continue to ground our decisions in research.

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Facebook: Recognizing Global Accessibility Awareness Day

As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page…

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As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page to spread awareness and share local recreational opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

In addition to providing community to people with disabilities, we’re also working to make the digital world more accessible. 

We will demonstrate our latest accessibility features today at our annual Accessibility Summit. Join us at 10:00AM PT for this livestream on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page. In addition to product demos and updates, we will host an interview with Molly Burke, a digital creator and blind advocate.

Through a video series on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page, we’re highlighting how people with disabilities connect and build communities through our technologies, much like Carly. We’ve created both the captioned and audio described versions of these stories.

Today, we’re recapping advances we’ve made over the past year to make our technologies more inclusive. 

Meta Quest

  • Audio Accessibility
    • Audio balance: This option enables you to adjust the balance of the left and right audio channels for comfort, and to better match your ability to hear in each ear. 
    • Mono Audio enables you to hear the same audio from both the left and right speakers on your headset. 
    • You’ll find both features under the Accessibility tab in your headset’s Settings menu.

Product mock of audio accessibility on Meta Quest

  • Adjust Height  
    • This feature allows you to experience VR from a “standing” vantage point even while reclining or seated. This can improve the VR experience for people who use wheelchairs, have limited mobility or are unable to use the Quest headset while standing. 
    • We first introduced this as an experimental feature (called Raise View) last June and have now made it permanent after receiving positive feedback from the disability community. 
    • You can find this feature in the Accessibility tab in Quest’s Settings menu.

Portal

  • Video relay service (VRS)
    • In December, we began supporting video relay service (VRS) applications on Portal  for people who use American Sign Language (ASL), through a collaboration with ZP Better Together.
    • Through the ZP apps on Portal and human interpreters, people who use American Sign Language can now easily communicate in both English and Spanish. 
    • Portal’s unique AI-powered camera always keeps you in frame and in focus, even when you’re moving, so your face and hands can always be seen.
  • Captions
    • We’ve also added customizable closed captions for streamed content on TV and Touch, as well as added support for live captions into integrated work productivity apps Zoom and Workplace Live.

Instagram

  • Auto-generated captions for Feed videos
    • In March, we introduced auto-generated captions for Feed videos on iOS and Android in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, German, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu, Malay, Hindi and Japanese to start. 
    • More importantly, captions are automatically turned on by default when a creator uploads a video to their Feed. Over 140 million videos were created with auto-generated captions in the last 30 days.
    • Creators retain the ability to turn captions off when they choose and viewers can turn captions on or off using on-screen controls.

Product mock of Instagram auto-generated captions

Stickers on Facebook and Messenger

  • We added alt text descriptions to the more than 10,000 stickers available on Facebook and Messenger, making it possible for people who are blind and visually impaired to understand and use them. 

Avatars

  • Earlier this year, we introduced the ability to have your same avatar across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Quest. 
  • There are also new avatar options, including over-the-ear hearing aids and cochlear implants in addition to more face shapes, skin tones, expressions, and stickers. 
  • Wheelchairs are now available as stickers on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger so your avatar can better represent who you are or who you want to be.

Product mock of accessibility features of Avatars

Open Source

  • Lexical is a JavaScript framework built to improve text editing on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Workplace, with accessibility as a priority. 
  • In April, Lexical was released into open source to allow the rest of the world to benefit from these improvements. 
  • With this new framework, people can express their ideas in text via dictation, and readers can experience character-by-character navigation — a feature previously unavailable in similar editors.

Reality Labs Research

  • We’re exploring how improvements in audio quality can enable more realistic presence and perceptual superpowers in augmented and virtual reality— technological advancements that can also help us hear better in noisy environments. 
  • Our team of hearing scientists is also exploring how to reencode sound and present it through closed captioning.
  • While this is still early research, we are excited to learn more about how emerging audio technologies can improve the lives of people with hearing loss. 

Image showing audio research

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Facebook: Announcing New Products to Make Business Messaging Easier

The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural…

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The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural business messaging event, we discussed how messaging is transforming interactions between people and businesses, and announced new products to make conversations easier.

Introducing Cloud-based API on the WhatsApp Business Platform

Today, Mark Zuckerberg announced we’re opening up the new, cloud-based version of the WhatsApp Business Platform, hosted by Meta, to any business across the world. With this new API, we’re offering free, secure cloud hosting services so businesses and developers can easily access our service within minutes, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience and increase their response time for their customers. So now, whether a business wants to work with one of our 100+ partners or access our service directly, it will be much faster to get up and running on WhatsApp.

When growing a business, you need smart, robust and easy-to-use conversation tools. For smaller businesses using the WhatsApp Business app, we’re building tools so it’s easier to handle an influx of chats as they grow their customer base. 

Launching Recurring Notifications on Messenger

Today we’re announcing a new way for businesses to keep the conversation going with Recurring Notifications. As businesses acquire new customers and begin to scale operations, there’s incredible opportunity to build loyalty and trust — and we believe this is where the value of messaging really shines. This new capability makes it easy to re-engage people right in the messaging thread and deliver tailored messaging at the best time for customers, whether to hear about special promotions, new product drops or tips and tricks.

You can choose the topics you’d like to let people opt-in to, how often customers can hear from you and shape your content, so your messages are always on-brand and relevant. Recurring notifications will also be available for businesses on Instagram this fall.

We also highlighted our click-to-message ads to help customers immediately start conversations with businesses, our CRM platform Kustomer and Meta Business Suite for higher volumes of messages across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Read more about our product investments in business messaging on our Meta for Developers blog.

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Facebook: Introducing New Members of the Oversight Board

Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin. Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to…

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Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin.

Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to support and work with the board to select additional members. The new members reflect a wide range of views and experiences, and will bring a variety of perspectives to the board’s existing expertise.

The Oversight Board represents a unique model for social media governance. From its inception, we knew its impact would come not just from its decisions on individual cases, but also from broader recommendations on how we can improve our policies and processes. In the time since they began hearing cases and issuing decisions and recommendations, they’ve been playing a bigger role in setting precedent and direction for our content policies and how we enforce them.  We look forward to welcoming the new board members into this process.

We will update this Newsroom Post as additional members are appointed. We are grateful to all board members for lending their expertise to our content moderation efforts.

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