After months of murders, rapes, torture, and other violent acts turning up in users’ feeds — Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook plans to hire a few thousand more people to help better monitor videos posted to the social network. “Over the next year, we’ll be adding 3,000 people to our community operations team around the world — on top of the 4,500 we have today — to review the millions of reports we get every week, and improve the process for doing it quickly,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post Wednesday morning. The CEO added that Facebook will be making it easier for users to report “problems,” noting that the company receives “millions of reports” every week.
Zuckerberg did not mention any specific event that led to Facebook’s decision to increase its “community operations” headcount by 75 percent. But it’s a safe bet that the recent livestreamed infanticide and the widely publicized shooting of an elderly man in Cleveland on Easter Sunday figured into the company’s thinking.
Experts have said that the only way for Facebook to really tackle this problem would be to hire people en masse, as the software to automatically identify and take down problematic content is nowhere near ready. As others have pointed out, however, a full-time job monitoring reported Facebook videos doesn’t seem all that appealing. Currently, the bulk of this labor, for all social networks, is performed by thousands and thousands of unseen workers in Southeast Asia, many of whom require psychological counseling and other help as a result of what they have seen.