Facebook is now using AI to sort content for quicker moderation

From The Verge: Facebook has always made it clear it wants artificial intelligence to handle more moderation duties on its platforms. Today, it announced its latest step toward that goal: putting machine learning in charge of its moderation queue.

Here’s how moderation works on Facebook. Posts that are thought to violate the company’s rules (which includes everything from spam to hate speech and content that “glorifies violence”) are flagged, either by users or machine learning filters. Some very clear-cut cases are dealt with automatically (responses could involve removing a post or blocking an account, for example) while the rest go into a queue for review by human moderators.

Facebook employs about 15,000 of these moderators around the world, and has been criticized in the past for not giving these workers enough support, employing them in conditions that can lead to trauma. Their job is to sort through flagged posts and make decisions about whether or not they violate the company’s various policies.

In the past, moderators reviewed posts more or less chronologically, dealing with them in the order they were reported. Now, Facebook says it wants to make sure the most important posts are seen first, and is using machine learning to help. In the future, an amalgam of various machine learning algorithms will be used to sort this queue, prioritizing posts based on three criteria: their virality, their severity, and the likelihood they’re breaking the rules.

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