Facebook Admits Hate-Speech Monitoring Has ‘Failed’

Promises improvements after ads were reportedly pulled in protest

Embroiled in a protest involving Women, Action and the Media and the Everyday Sexism Project (WAM), Facebook today vowed to improve its system for monitoring hate speech.

The announcement came on the heels of a WAM blog post claiming that advertisers like Nissan UK were pulling their Facebook promos because offensive, anti-women posts were polluting the social site.

A blog post by the Facebook safety department reads: "In recent days, it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate. In some cases, content is not being removed as quickly as we want. In other cases, content that should be removed has not been or has been evaluated using outdated criteria. We have been working over the past several months to improve our systems to respond to reports of violations, but the guidelines used by these systems have failed to capture all the content that violates our standards. We need to do better—and we will."

Click here to read the entire post, which unveils extensive plans to update the monitoring system.

The development underscores how social media remains a virtual Wild West as it pertains to brands and messaging.

Facebook has worked closely with WAM to quiet the storm. The women's rights org said it will serve in an advisory role as the social giant attempts to corral and take down offensive content.