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It will take more than 1,000 extra Facebook staff to clean up social media

Posted by Warwick Business School at 23 January 2020, 22:55 CET |
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Professor Mark Skilton, a digital communications expert at Warwick Business School, said:

"This reinforces the double jeopardy that Facebook and other social media platforms are struggling with in spite of their limitless financial resources.

"There are now 2.45 billion active users per month, so it is a huge challenge to spot maligned and fake behaviour. We hoped artificial intelligence could be the silver bullet to automate all of this, but clearly the size of the data and the complexity of deceptive signatures in social human interaction has made that impossible so far.

"Recruiting 1,000 people sounds like a lot, but is it enough to stop all cases of online bullying and deception? It seems doubtful. We don't know how bad the problem really is, as access to Facebook data for research has been heavily criticised by academics. This is not surprising after the Cambridge Analytica fallout, but Facebook's AI  team still seem to need humans to spot and help train better tools.

"This all feels like a work-in-progress, but it has distracted the media and politicians from the real problem of social media, which is how it is used to manipulate public opinion, elections, and other issues of social impact. This needs more than 1,000 additional staff, it needs a wholesale restructuring."

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