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Facebook's German anti-hate team now bigger

August 9, 2017

Facebook has announced plans to reinforce its German team responsible for deleting hate speech posts and other content punishable by law. The social media giant said it would open a center in Essen to this end.

Facebook Berlin center
Image: picture alliance/dpa/S. Stache

The world's largest online social media network reported Wednesday it would open a second center in Germany tasked solely with deleting hate speech content and similar punishable posts.

Facebook said the center would be located in the western German city of Essen and would employ 500 people. It added that the center would be operational this fall. The social media giant already runs a similar center in Berlin which will eventually have a workforce of 700.

The new facility in Essen will be operated by service provider Competence Call Center whereas the Berlin center has been run by a Bertelsmann services firm called Arvato.

Fighting hate on the Net

Enormous task

Facebook has had to adapt to fresh legislation in Germany forcing it to make sure that unambiguous hate content gets deleted with 24 hours.

The company acknowledged that hate speech was running rampant on the site, promising more manpower to keep such content contained.

Facebook had said earlier it would boost its content-checking staff from 4,500 to 7,500 people worldwide in the months ahead. The social media giant deletes roughly 290,000 posts reported as hate speech each month.

The firm has also been working on methods of deleting hate speech content automatically. But it has admitted it is a long way from being able to rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to get the job done.

hg/bb (dpa, Facebook)