SILICON VALLEY (KTVU) - Facebook is taking steps to prevent violent video from appearing online. On Wednesday, the company announced it’s hiring another 3,000 workers to monitor harmful content.
The company now has close to 2 billion users so monitoring all that content is no easy task. Tech experts are calling this a necessary step.
After a series of brutal crimes posted on “Facebook Live”, including a Cleveland man who broadcasted a killing of an elderly man and a sexual assault of a 15-year-old Chicago girl, the social network is boosting efforts to catch these videos before they spread.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg alluded to changes at the F8 Developer Conference. On Wednesday, he announced on Facebook that the company is adding 3,000 more people on top of 4,500 workers already reviewing Facebook content.
“If we are going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We're working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner,” said Zuckerberg.
“I think it's a good first step to try and filter some of this content. This streaming content of people committing suicides or crimes is deplorable,” said Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies.
Facebook has been widely criticized for not removing videos fast enough. Tech experts question if additional workers is the answer.
“This is a strange brand new world when it comes to this level of communication,” said Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies. “If the software is getting better and they can catch it and this is only used as the last measure, then it could be effective.”
“I don't know if it's going to make a dent,” said Irina Raicu. “I think Facebook is hoping it will.”
Raicu is the director of the Internet Ethics Program at Santa Clara University and does not see it as an issue of censorship at all.
“We are talking about something so clearly harmful to the people both to the victims and to all the people victimized by even watching,” said Raicu.
Several Facebook users who wondered why hiring more screeners didn't happen sooner.
“I’m kind of surprised that they did not think about the consequences of Facebook Live and the fact it could hurt people ahead of time.”
“I think they are terrible. No one wants to see those so any steps that could be taken to get rid of that problem I’m all for it,” said Langston Williams of Santa Clara.
Facebook did not provide information on where these jobs will be held local or overseas, how they will be trained and how soon they would start hiring except it will be over the next year.