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Facebook reviews live stream policy after Christchurch attack


Site says recently live streams are prioritised for review only when flagged for suicide

Facebook has released more details of its response to the Christchurch terrorist attack, saying it did not deal with the attacker’s live stream as quickly as it could have because it was not reported as a video of suicide.

The company said streams that were flagged by users while live were prioritised for accelerated review, as were any recently live streams that were reported for suicide content.

It said it received the first user report about the Christchurch stream 12 minutes after it ended, and because it was reported for reasons other than suicide it was handled “according to different procedures”.

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s head of integrity, wrote in a blogpost: “We are re-examining our reporting logic and experiences for both live and recently live videos in order to expand the categories that would get to accelerated review.”

Rosen said training AI to recognise such videos would require “many thousands of examples of content … something which is difficult as these events are thankfully rare”.

He added: “Another challenge is to automatically discern this content from visually similar, innocuous content – for example if thousands of videos from livestreamed video games are flagged by our systems, our reviewers could miss the important real-world videos where we could alert first responders to get help on the ground.” Read more

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Facebook reviews live stream policy after Christchurch attack