In a major announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to hire an additional 3,000 employees to review videos reportedly featuring violence, “hate speech,” and “child exploitation.” Zuckerberg’s statement comes in the midst of a number of murders and violent crimes broadcasted over the site’s live streaming service, Facebook Live.
According to the Facebook post, the company already employs 4,500 people in its “community operations team” to review content that has been flagged for its inappropriateness. An additional 3,000 people would mean that 7,500 people would be devoted to taking down offensive content. (It’s unclear if the 3,000 people will be full-time employees or contractors.) Facebook has a workforce of 17,000.
For all the promises from Silicon Valley that algorithms will solve society’s ills, Zuckerberg’s announcement is a clear sign that we’re definitely not there yet.
On top of the new hires, Zuckerberg also committed to building “better tools to keep or community safe” and make it easier for users to report content that violates the site’s terms of service.
The new initiative comes in the wake of several incidents of recorded violence on the site, with many calling for tougher restrictions on what content is allowed.
Last month, Steve Stephens broadcasted a video on Facebook of himself shooting a 74-year-old stranger in Cleveland, Ohio. The gruesome footage quickly circulated the Internet before being taken down. Stephens later killed himself after a manhunt and police chase.
On April 26, an Alabama man streamed his suicide on the service. Earlier that week, a man in Thailand streamed himself hanging his 11-month-old daughter before killing himself.