Can Facebook overcome its ill-lighted side?

The social network giant faces controversies over live-streamed violence, murder and now revenge porn.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, with a nearly religious zeal, has said for years his mission is “making the world more open and connected.”But in the last few weeks, that more open and connected world has led to headlines about violence, murder and, most recently, revenge porn shared on his social network. People have used Facebook Live, the company’s video livestreaming service, to broadcast murder over the internet. Meanwhile Facebook is fighting the problem of revenge porn, defined as nude or near-nude photos shared in order to “shame or embarrass” someone.

In April, Zuckerberg had to take up stage time during his most important speech of the year, at the company’s annual F8 developer conference, to offer condolences to the family and friends of a Cleveland man whose killing was shown in a video posted to Facebook.

Facebook has come a long way from the tiny website Zuckerberg created in his Harvard dorm room 13 years ago. In the last year, the social network has been criticized for the rise of fake news, which detractors argue tipped the scales in the US election toward President Donald Trump. The site has also been blamed for “filter bubbles,” which some argue distort people’s view of the world because mostly everything they’re fed on Facebook aligns with what they already think. “The hard part is balancing the goal of being a social media platform — letting people communicate with each other in a wide variety of ways — without poisoning the well,” said Larry Downes, project director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy.

To solve the problem, Zuckerberg said earlier this month, Facebook will add 3,000 content moderators by the end of the year — on top of the 4,500 it already has on the job around the world.Moreover, Facebook wants software to do the work, with artificial intelligence to decide what stays and what goes before posts spread across the internet. But even Zuckerberg admits it’s going to take time, saying earlier this month we shouldn’t hold our breath. “That will take a period of years, though, to really reach the quality level that we want,” he said.

‘Let’s just throw it open and see what happens,’

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