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Facebook: Zero tolerance policy on violent content 'does not mean zero occurrence'

  • Facebook takes fake news and other advertiser safety issues seriously, but completely blocking offensive content is impossible, said Facebook's Carolyn Everson.
  • The company is investing in artificial intelligence, as well as giving brands more tools to opt out of advertising against certain content.
Carolyn Everson
Michael Newberg | CNBC
Carolyn Everson

While Facebook is doing everything in its power to make it a safe place for brands and users, it's impossible to completely weed out crime and violence on its platform, global head of sales Carolyn Everson told CNBC.

"Our policy is zero tolerance — that doesn't mean zero occurrence," Everson said.

Facebook has been under fire for several incidents including videos of alleged murders being broadcast through its Live platform.

"There are bad things that are going to happen," Everson said. "That is reality. That is life. Facebook is a reflection of that life. It is our job to make the community as safe as possible. Not only for the people that use it, which is incredibly important, of course, but also for the brands we work with."

Part of that includes allowing brands to opt out of advertising on certain videos. The company has also created a "blacklist" for websites that won't be allowed to advertise in-stream during videos, on Instant Articles and through its Audience Network of websites it serves ads to.

It also announced continued investments in artificial intelligence to identify offensive posts, and said it relies on its 1.9 billion users to report bad content. In addition, it is taking measures to stop fake news on its platform.

"Facebook is a safe place for brands, let me start there," Everson said. "The second thing I would say is we have zero tolerance, zero tolerance for hate speech and terrorism. There is no place for any of that on our platforms, and we have already made a commitment."

— Reporting by Julia Boorstin.