With many of their employees choosing to and are being allowed to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, major websites of the world are now turning to automatic systems to moderate content.
Artificial intelligence and automated tools are being used for identification of problematic material are being put to use by social media platforms YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
While admitting that such usage could lead to some mistakes, the tech giants have said that they will still continue to remove harmful content from their platforms. .
There has been a huge spike of medical misinformation across the web with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The new measures could result in longer disposal times for appeals about content wrongfully removed on the platform, said Google, which owns YouTube.
On the other hand, Twitter has assured that it would not permanently ban any accounts that get suspended by the automated software until they have been reviewed by a human staff.
Employees and staff of Facebook, Twitter and Google who are engaged in content review operations are located all across the globe including in the US, India and Spain.
All of the governments of those countries have advised work from home for employees. But the tech companies said that the process of changing the content review operations to remote working is quite complicated and time consuming.
All its content reviewers have been sent home until further notice by Facebook and the largest social media company of the world has said that such staff will be paid by it during this time.
“With fewer people available for human review we’ll continue to prioritise imminent harm and increase our reliance on proactive detections in other areas,” Facebook said in a blogpost.
Enhancement of the use of machine-learning and automation will be done by Twitter, but the company also acknowledged that they could “sometimes lack the context that our teams bring, and this may result in us making mistakes”. And hence there would be no permanent banning on any account if such accounts are suspended by the automated systems, Twitter has assured.
And almost all of the full time employees of Google globally have been directed to work from home because of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This means automated systems will start removing some content without human review,” YouTube said in a blog. “As we do this, users and creators may see increased video removals, including some videos that may not violate policies. Our workforce precautions will also result in delayed appeal reviews,” the company said.
There would be greater cautiousness about what content gets promoted, including livestreams, the company added.
This move by the tech companies comes at a time when there is increasing pressure on them to better their efforts to remove misinformation on their platforms about the coronavirus pandemic.
(Adapted from BBC.com)