Facebook cracks down on sale of illegal drugs, guns
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - May 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Social media company Facebook has vowed to strengthen efforts to take down posts involving the sale of regulated goods such as illicit drugs and firearms.

Facebook vice president for integrity Guy Rosen, in the company’s recent report on the enforcement of its community standards, said they took action against 900,000 drug sale content in the first quarter of 2019.

In the same period, he said they also acted on 670,000 pieces of firearm sale content across its users worldwide.

Facebook did not release the breakdown on where the content originated.

But in its report, the company said the number of posts on the sale of illicit drugs that it acted upon increased in the last quarter of 2018, while it decreased for firearms sale.

From October to December last year, the company said it took action on about 603,000 posts on drug sales and 754,000 on firearms sales.

In both cases, the percentage of the company taking down the post before users reported them increased.

“We have longstanding policies against illicit drug and firearms sales. For years, we have used a range of approaches to enforce our policy,” said Rosen.

He cited efforts such as investigating profiles, pages, groups, hashtags and accounts associated with violating content that were already removed; blocking and filtering hundreds of terms associated with drug sales; and working with experts to stay updated on the latest tactics bad actors use to mask their activity, such as new street names for drugs.

Last year, Rosen said the company began trying to use artificial intelligence to identify content that violate policies on sale of regulated goods.         

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