Facebook to add 3,000 reviewers to reduce violent videos

MENLO PARK, CA (WBTW) – Facebook will hire 3,000 people over the next year to monitor videos for violence or threats, according to a post by the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In a Facebook post released at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Zuckerberg acknowledged the videos that have made national news after victims were hurt or killed in Facebook Live videos or videos posted after the event.

The 32-year-old CEO says time is of the essence and safety for communities around the globe is the company’s top priority.

“It’s heartbreaking, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can do better for our community,” writes Zuckerberg. “If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly.”

In the post, Zuckerberg confirms Facebook will add 3,000 people to the community operations team, which currently employs 4,500. The employees will be added over the next year and will be responsible for reviewing the “millions of reports [Facebook] get[s] every week.”

“These reviewers will also help us get better at removing things we don’t allow on Facebook like hate speech and child exploitation,” the post reads. “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.”

One of the most notable cases of violence on Facebook occurred April 16, when Steve W. Stephens fatally shot a man on a Cleveland, OH street, and posted the video to Facebook. The New York Times reports the murder was “viewed thousands of times before the video was removed.” Two days after the murder, Stephens killed himself near Erie, PA after a brief chase with police.

Facebook plans to make changes, not only to personnel, but also to how users can report violent or potentially harmful videos.

“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,” says Zuckerberg. “As these become available they should help make our community safer.”

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg backed Zuckerberg’s post in the comments, writing, “Keeping people safe is our top priority. We won’t stop until we get it right.”