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Jolted into action by revelations from Frances Haugen, Facebook or Meta as it is now called is now publishing data to show how much content it is removing from its platform.

The information revealed by Haugen and disputed by Meta indicates the harm that can be done to some teenage girls around body image issues and mental health.  Facebook also struggles to police hate speech and calls for violence[1].

Facebook claims users saw bullying or harassment 14 to 15 times out of every 10,000 views of content between July – September this year[2].  It also says it took down 9.2 million pieces of bullying and harassment content from Facebook.

That sounds impressive, however…..

Facebook also acknowledges identifying bullying and harassment is challenging for the company’s automated or AI systems.  The AI systems, Facebook uses to identify bullying and harassment comments do not pick up the difference between a bullying post and what may be classed as a light-hearted joke.  This means, there are probably many bullying posts that are not being picked up by the automated system.

The figures also do not help if you are one of the 14 or 15 people who are still seeing bullying or harassment posts.

What to do if you are experiencing bullying on your Facebook page

  • If you are experience bullying or harassment on Facebook, do not think it will necessarily go away or that Facebook will pick it up.
  • As difficult as it may be, ignore the post or comment.  Most people who bully or harass on Facebook are looking for a response.  Give them a response and they continue.  Ignore them and hopefully they will go away.
  • If they continue to harass and bully, block the person.
  • Before blocking the person, take a screen shot of their comments so you can report them.
  • Remember, any threats of violence against you, your family or property can be reported directly to the police.
  • As well as reporting you need to make sure you have family and friends around you who can support you.  Data has shown there are links between cyber-bullying and depression.

Don’t let your mental health be beaten down by cyberbullying.  Surround yourself with your friends, family and support group.

[1] Npr Technology – Facebook is now revealing how often users see bullying or harassing posts.  Nov 9 2021

[2] ibid