Facebook Is Hiring 3,000 Staffers to Monitor Its Platform After a String of Livestreamed Murders and Suicides

CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls the violence 'heartbreaking'

Facebook is taking action after a rash of violence on the platform.
Headshot of David Cohen

Facebook is addressing the trend of violent incidents, including murders and suicides, on Facebook Live with a huge expansion of its community operations team.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post that he will add 3,000 staffers to its global community operations teams, bringing the social network’s content-safety division to 7,500 after the hires.

Zuckerberg also said Facebook is developing tools to make it easier for users to report unsettling or violent content and to enable the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company, if necessary, to contact law enforcement to quickly respond.

Here’s more on the subject from the digital executive, who turns 33 years old this month:

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook—either live or in video posted later. It’s heartbreaking, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can do better for our community.

If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner—whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.

Over the next year, we’ll be adding 3,000 people to our community operations team around the world—on top of the 4,500 we have today—to review the millions of reports we get every week and improve the process for doing it quickly.

These reviewers will also help us get better at removing things we don’t allow on Facebook, like hate speech and child exploitation. And we’ll keep working with local community groups and law enforcement who are in the best position to help someone if they need it—either because they’re about to harm themselves, or because they’re in danger from someone else.

In addition to investing in more people, we’re also building better tools to keep our community safe. We’re going to make it simpler to report problems to us, faster for our reviewers to determine which posts violate our standards and easier for them to contact law enforcement if someone needs help. As these become available, they should help make our community safer.

This is important. Just last week, we got a report that someone on Live was considering suicide. We immediately reached out to law enforcement, and they were able to prevent him from hurting himself. In other cases, we weren’t so fortunate.

No one should be in this situation in the first place, but if they are, then we should build a safe community that gets them the help they need.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s first quarter earnings will be reported later today.

Image courtesy of davelogan/iStock.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.