Nearly 80% of content removed online for spam, hate speech and explicit nature

Nearly 80% of the 3.3 billion pieces of content removed from major content platforms come from spam, adult and explicit content, and hate speech and acts of aggression. This is according to the WFA Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), which tracked the performance of brand safety across seven platforms. Namely, Today’s report includes self-reported data from Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snap, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.

The data, accumulated by WFA GARM found that there has also been a growth in action taken on hate speech and acts of aggression across platforms. GARM platforms have reported increases in activity and its impact with significant progress by YouTube in the number of account removals, Facebook in the reduction of prevalence, and Twitter in the removal of pieces of content, said the report.

These initial improvements have occurred amid an increased reliance on automated content moderation to help manage blocking and reinstatements due to COVID-19 disruptions that resulted in moderation teams working with limited capacity.

Today’s report includes self-reported data from Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snap, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. The numbers are self-reported by platforms. Twitch, which only joined GARM in March, will join the reporting process for the next report, due later this year.

In addition to these platforms, Google has also separately removed or blocked approximately 3.1 billion ads in 2020 for violating its policies and restricted an additional 6.4 billion ads. Approximately 867 million ads were either blocked or removed for abusing the ad network, while 91 million were removed as they violated legal requirements. More than 99 million COVID-19 related ads were also blocked from serving throughout 2020. They included ads for miracle cures, N95 masks due to supply shortages, and most recently, fake vaccine doses.

Meanwhile in 2018, Spotify rolled out an initiative known as the Hate Content and Hateful Conduct public policy, concerning content that advocates or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics. These could be based on race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability. The company previously explained that the move was made to reflect its values be it through distribution, promotion, or content creation.

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