Facebook Reveals all
Since 2016, Facebook has claimed that it has spent more than $12 billion on safety and security, with 40,000 people taking charge of this particular area of the company. This provides a clear insight into the sheer scale of the operation and the amount of money Facebook is willing to spend on safety and security.
The social media giant has released the numbers in an attempt to provide proof of just how serious the company takes things, especially when addressing problems on Facebook and Instagram. However, the figures were actually released as a way of adding context to a story that was released in The Wall Street Journal.
In the Past
In the past, Facebook has claimed that it did not do enough early enough to tackle safety and security issues during the product development process. However, the company has implemented new processes that have enabled them to change their approach. What this means is that they have specific teams that sit at the core of product development that focus on safety and security. This enables them to handle and address these problems during the product development process and not after it has been completed.
It was alleged that Facebook became aware of serious security and safety issues such as those around information about Covid-19 which proved to be false as well as negative emotional effects on users. However, the company took time to address the issues because it was concerned that this would lead to a reduction in engagement with the platforms. The allegation was challenged and classed as mischaracterizing the company and what it is trying to achieve through a safety report.
Strong Response Required
The response from Facebook actually flips these allegations and puts them in a positive light, making it a potentially smart move by the company. It shifted the focus onto the fact that it didn’t act too late but the approach it took when it did react, such as removing 20 million pieces of false information relating to Covid-19 and vaccinations while also blocking 3 billion fake accounts during the first half of 2021.
If the figures that Facebook has provided are to be considered trustworthy, then this is an improvement from previous figures it has released. What this means is that since 2017, it has quadrupled the number of staff involved in safety and security as it only had 10,000 people while they promised to double that figure in the following 12 months.
Billions not Millions
The figure of $13 billion also supports a statement released in 2018 where Facebook claimed that it would invest billions of dollars each year to safety and security, which equates to an average of around $2 billion each year. How that money has been distributed from 2016 to 2021 is still relatively unknown but Facebook made it publicly known that it was promising to increase investment in 2017 and 2018 and it seems to have done that. Only time will tell whether the company will continue to invest in this area given how important it is.
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