Facebook announced on Tuesday that it has spent over $13 billion to ensure user safety and security since 2016.
The announcement comes days after the Wall Street Journal published a series of reports accusing the social media giant of failing to fix “ill effects of the platform”, harming teenage users’ mental health, giving a weak response to alarms raised by its employees on how human traffickers in developing countries use the platform to sell victims, and more.
Facebook on Tuesday released a blog post to address some of the criticism it has received.
‘’In the past, we didn’t address safety and security challenges early enough in the product development process’’ said the company in the post named,‘’Our Progress Addressing Challenges and Innovating Responsibly,’’. Instead, we made improvements reactively in response to a specific abuse. But we have fundamentally changed that approach.’’
‘’Today, we embed teams focusing specifically on safety and security issues directly into product development teams, allowing us to address these issues during our product development process, not after it,’’ the company added.
The social media giant said that it now has 40,000 employees working on user safety and security, while it had 10,000 in 2016.
The company said its advanced AI, which now operates at 15 times more capacity, helped it remove 3 billion fake accounts in the first half of 2021.
It also said it now has a global network of more than 80 independent fact-checking partners and removed over 20 million content with COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation.