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Facebook sets new rules to keep violence, abusive content offline

By
Clyde Hughes
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on May 10 after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss Internet regulation following the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo by David Silpa/UPI
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on May 10 after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss Internet regulation following the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

May 15 (UPI) -- Social giant Facebook will spend millions on research to develop ways to prevent users from utilizing the platform for nefarious purposes, like the gunman who broadcast an attack on two mosques in New Zealand this spring.

Guy Rosen, Facebook vice president of integrity, said in a blog post the company will spend $7.5 million in new research to examine how to limit technology for those wishing to use it during criminal acts. The man who killed 50 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March live streamed the attack on Facebook Live. Some 1.5 million users tried to re-upload the footage before it was removed by Facebook.

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"As a direct result ... people who have broken certain rules on Facebook -- including our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy -- will be restricted from using Facebook Live," Rosen wrote Tuesday.

"Tackling these threats also requires technical innovation to stay ahead of the type of adversarial media manipulation we saw after Christchurch when some people modified the video to avoid detection in order to repost it," he added.

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"This will require research driven across industry and academia. To that end, we're also investing $7.5 million in new research partnerships with leading academics from three universities, designed to improve image and video analysis technology."

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Rosen said Facebook will now have a "one strike" policy for users who violate Facebook Live rules. Violators will be barred from using the platform for set periods of time. A first offense, for example, brings a 30-day ban.

"We plan on extending these restrictions to other areas over the coming weeks, beginning with preventing those same people from creating ads on Facebook," Rosen added. "Our goal is to minimize the risk of abuse."

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