Facebook Cites Technical Issues in Restricting Child Abuse Images – Report

On Wednesday, the social networking service company Facebook (FB) revealed its failure in blocking the huge number of child abuse images and videos, which have been broadcasting on its website over the past six months, as a result of a technical glitch, according to The Telegraph.

Notably, the company failed to block the material as two separate bugs were running, one of which is still ongoing.

Per the statistics stated by the source, 5 million pieces of child nudity and exploitation content were caught by Facebook in the first quarter of 2021, while the last quarter of 2020 recorded 5.4 million, down from the revelation of 12.4 million pieces of content in the third quarter of 2020. (See Facebook stock analysis on TipRanks)

Per the article, Facebook has fixed the first “media matching” issue by relating its systems scan against a database of illegal images. However, there are chances of missing some data on which the company is still working.

Facebook is meticulously addressing the issue and using its system to remove millions of child nudity and exploitation videos before they are publicly available, the source said. Furthermore, the spread of terrorist and other criminal content is also being minimized through the technology update.

Andy Burrows, Head of Child Safety Online Policy at the NSPCC said, “For the last two consecutive quarters, Facebook has taken down fewer than half of the child abuse content compared to the three months prior to that. This is a significant reduction due to two separate technical issues which have not been explained and it’s the first we have heard about them.”

“This underlines why we need an Online Safety Bill that requires platforms to disclose significant safety issues when they happen, and a regulator with the power to lift up the bonnet on platforms to make sure they truly protect children online and are accountable,” Burrows added.

On April 29, Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju lifted the stock’s price target to $400 (27.8% upside potential) from $371 and reiterated a Buy rating following the company’s Q1 results.

According to Ju, Facebook’s Q1 results reflected 30% year-over-year growth in ad pricing and a broad-based recovery across most verticals, as the headwinds experienced last year subsided.

Consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy based on 27 Buys versus 4 Holds. The average analyst price target stands at $388.23 and implies upside potential of 23.8% to current levels. Shares have gained more than 36% over the past year.

Furthermore, Facebook scores a “Perfect 10” from TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations.

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