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Facebook's Antigone David, Guy Rosen and Axios' Kim Hart Photo: Sara Fischer

Facebook executives dodged saying how many more employees they're willing to hire to review nefarious content on its platform.

Why it matters: It's clear that human content reviewers are needed to address some of the biggest safety and security concerns on the platform, like suicide warnings and egregious content. Facebook has committed to doubling the number of staff monitoring content but it's not clear if that is a viable long-term strategy given Facebook's more than 2 billion users.

“I think this is actually where there’s incredible opportunity through technology,” Facebook safety chief Antigone Davis said. “I think the opportunity for technology to fill some of that — you know how many reviewers — is, I would say boundless."

The details: In a conversation with Axios' Kim Hart, Davis and VP of Product Guy Rosen touted that "every piece of content" that triggers the company's suicide prevention efforts is reviewed by humans. But in other instances, they conceded that automating the review is really the only way to scale their safety efforts.

  • Rosen cited suicide prevention as a good example of how humans and machines can work together to mitigate risk. Rosen said they found success when the company started working on proactive detection through using technology to monitor comments.
  • In other instances, they described ways in which machines can be more effective than humans, like using automation to immediately route user complaints to moderators that speak the native language used in the complaints.

Asked if technology alone can ever get ahead of some of the issues discussed at the event, Rosen said that it is "certainly not a silver bullet," but that they are "building the right set of tools," to conquer the avalanche of unforeseen safety issues "step by step."

The conversation occurred Thursday at a Facebook Security Summit in Washington. The event was designed to offer clarity into their efforts around tech addiction, privacy and safety.

  • Facebook has been ramping up conversations arounds safety and security on its platform in response to instances of suicide and abuse over the year.
  • It recently conceded that its product may not be good for consumer health and may not be a net good for democracy.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.