Facebook’s Police Force

Newsweek has an interesting piece this week, entitled Walking the Beat, about Facebook’s 150 employees ranging from “porn cops” who review uploaded images to ensure they keep with the site’s rules, to site security personnel (who proactively probe for site vulnerabilities), to liaisons with the police, who handle 10-20 requests by police departments a day and, more intriguing, claim to end up being involved in almost “half the crimes that attract national media attention.” Their “undercover” division mingles in online blackhat and spammer communities to keep the site’s defenses up.

An interesting takeaway from the article: 150 of the company’s 850 employees are involved in policing site content, meaning that the division accounts for nearly 20% of Facebook employees. Another interesting aspect for me is the bit about user reactions: their proactive policing has led to many protest groups, but they’re “not too worried: users may join a protest group, but the fact that they haven’t quit the site altogether shows how sticky Facebook can be.”

One thought on “Facebook’s Police Force

  1. Also interesting that they only look at things users complain about. MySpace uses more people to look at all images. I think Facebook is doing things in a reasonable way for the most part. It is a shame the job is needed though.

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