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Facebook group admins will now see “auto-reported by Facebook”

Last month, quietly and without fanfare, Facebook began using an algorithm to automatically report suspicious content within a group.

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Snitches get stitches

If you use Facebook, and especially if you administrate a Facebook Group, you are probably well aware that users can flag one another’s posts for inappropriate or offensive content. When a member of a group flags someone else’s post, the post is sent to the group administrator, who then assesses the post and decides whether or not it needs to be removed.

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Pretty simple, right? But last month, quietly and without fanfare, Facebook began using an algorithm to automatically report suspicious content before it gets published. If you administrate a Group, you may have already received posts “auto-reported by Facebook,” with the option to publish the post or delete it, as well as the option to block the group member who made the offending post. Facebook’s watchdog robot automatically detects inappropriate content, such as pornography, then reports it to group administrators.

auto-reported-by-facebook

Still in need of some tuning

At this time, it appears that the auto-reporting robot only works on Groups and not on the site in general or on Pages — but that could change. Some administrators are celebrating the new innovation, saying it will save them lots of time moderating, since they won’t have to go hunting for offensive posts. FBtutorial.com, who reported the change on their site after receiving auto-reported posts for their Facebook Group, says that auto-reporting is “definitely well needed in Facebook Groups and is a time-saver.”

Others, however, complain that the auto-report feature actually wastes their time, because Facebook often reports posts that are actually completely acceptable. After receiving many questions and complaints, Facebook added an explanation of the feature to their Help page, and also attempted to fine tune the algorithm.

Facebook still has the right to remove content

Facebook says that if administrators continue to approve similar auto-reported posts, the robot will eventually learn not to flag such posts. However, any posts approved by administrators must still comply with Facebook’s Community Standards, and the company retains the right to remove offensive content, even if group administrators approved it.

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Note from the Editor: We’ve seen several “auto-reported by Facebook” posts in various groups we have on Facebook, but many aren’t NSFW, they’re more in line with posts we’ve deleted from members reporting to us as admins in the past. It is our belief that the algorithm is smarter than just “oh, that’s porn,” and based more on the administrators’ history of deleted and/or reported posts. This feature could save us a lot of time in our rowdier and heavily populated groups.

What about your Facebook Group? Have you received any auto-reported posts? Has it saved you time, or is it a nuisance?

#AutoReport

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. FB Tutorial

    May 11, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    We hope more media outlets cover Facebook’s new auto reporting in Groups, while also highlighting the pros and cons associated with it.

    — FBtutorial.com

    • Lani Rosales

      May 12, 2016 at 9:43 am

      You guys were the first, and it appears we’re the only others. We’re baffled as to why this has gone completely overlooked. It speaks to Facebook’s shift toward automation, and as you noted, we MUST examine whether that is positive or negative.

      • FB Tutorial

        May 17, 2016 at 4:53 pm

        @Lani — you are absolutely correct on the fact that (major) media outlets are not really reporting this new automated policing by Facebook, especially the new controversial robot in groups.

        With Facebook being at the forefront of “artificial intelligence”, it is our opinion that many tasks on Facebook will soon be automated. We’ll keep reporting our discoveries, so do check our website often for updates.

        Cheers,
        FBtutorial.com team

  2. BRUCE SMITH

    May 17, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I am an Admin for several groups. We are having major problems with auto-report not allowing even face photos. When i try to approve an auto-reported photo it never does. Example a girl in modest shorts and top has been auto-reported to me . I try to approve over and over and still dont post. Wish we could TURN OFF AUTO REPORT UNTIL IT WORKS CORRECTLY

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  4. Christina

    August 23, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I’m an administrator of a buy/sell type group. I keep getting notifications of posts that have been auto reported and they are far from offensive or innapropriate. One was someone selling a tv stand just a few minutes ago… it’s really annoying and there is no explanation as to what about the posts was are against the rules…

  5. Tamara

    September 8, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve just started having this show up in one of the buy and sell groups I admin, but so far, it seems to be a real pain. It’s reported two, an ad for a local window and door company, and just today, an sale post for a car. Neither of which go against the group rules. I think this is just another example of facebroke screwing things up, instead of fixing what should be fixed.

  6. Brynn

    October 4, 2016 at 1:38 am

    I admin a group and while I haven’t seen any auto reports at all, I mostly post in the group and find it annoying that any event I make the pictures seem to go missing or I cannot invite people to the event unless they are my personal friend. Which is hard to come by in a group I admin that other people have added their own friends. I think it’s another way for Facebook to have their hands in everything. Not a help at all.

  7. Daniel

    December 6, 2016 at 12:30 am

    I think this Auto-reported is waste of time for admins Im admin of my own group and everyday something gets reported and it dumb. Us admin should be able to run are own group the way we want not have babysitter to watch us other fail Facebook thanks

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