Facebook will look to hire an additional 3,000 workers to monitor content posted on its service in an effort to combat the broadcasting of violent behavior through its features like Facebook Live, the company announced Wednesday ahead of its latest quarterly earnings.
The announcement by the social network comes soon after a recent wave of embarrassing incidents in which its live streaming tool was used to showcase the killings of individuals in Ohio and Thailand. Facebook's response in those incidents left many users dissatisfied, and after vowing to create a better and safer online community in February, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has now chosen to respond to recent incidents with a substantial commitment.
"If we're going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly," Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. "We're working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner -- whether that's responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down."
Zuckerberg didn't say whether the new jobs will be staff or contract positions, or where they will be located geographically. Many of the thousands of moderators it already employs work in centers in the Philippines for several hundred dollars a month.
The addition of these contractors comes at a momentous time for the company. In its latest earnings, Facebook revealed that it is now at the brink of surpassing 2 billion monthly active users, claiming a total of 1.94 billion, up 17 percent year-to-year. This dramatic growth also allowed the company to beat analysts' expectations for both revenue and profits for the financial period, despite its own forecasts saying its growth rate will moderate this year.
As Facebook continues its rapid expansion, it is key that the company ensure users abide by its service's guidelines, such as prohibitions on the use of hate speech and child exploitation, Zuckerberg said.
"This is important. Just last week, we got a report that someone on Live was considering suicide," Zuckerberg said. "We immediately reached out to law enforcement, and they were able to prevent him from hurting himself. In other cases, we weren't so fortunate."