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Facebook says needs to improve response to hate speech

Facebook Inc admitted its systems to remove hate speech haven't worked as well as the company had hoped, amid reports that advertisers were pulling their brands off the social network in the face of a backlash from women's groups.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

31st May 2013 00:27

Alessia Valenza | ILGA North America

In a blog post by its safety team late Tuesday, the company acknowledged there had been problems with removing content that would be considered examples of gender-based hate.

"We have been working over the past several months to improve our systems to respond to reports of violations, but the guidelines used by these systems have failed to capture all the content that violates our standards. We need to do better – and we will," the company said in the post.

The British edition of MediaWeek reported on Wednesday that at least 13 brands pulled ads from Facebook in the wake of the campaign. The New York Times cited Japanese automaker Nissan as saying it had pulled all advertising off the social network until it received assurances that its ads would not appear alongside offensive content.

In its blog post on Tuesday, Facebook said it would update the guidelines used to evaluate hate speech, and would encourage existing online anti-hate groups to add representatives of women’s organizations as well.

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