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Facebook says it's invested over $13 billion in safety and security

The social network outlines progress it's made on privacy, safety, misinformation and other issues.

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Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook on Tuesday highlighted progress it's made over the past several years to address challenges such as safety and security, misinformation and responsible innovation. The social network said it has 40,000 people working on safety and security issues and has invested more than $13 billion in teams and technology since 2016. 

Facebook's update comes after a series of critical reports from The Wall Street Journal last week alleged the company was aware of its platforms' negative effects on users but has done little to correct issues. Facebook on Saturday criticized the Journal articles, saying they contained "deliberate mischaracterizations."

Among other efforts it highlighted on Tuesday, Facebook said it has disrupted and removed more than 150 covert influence operations since 2017 and, with the help of artificial intelligence tools, blocked 3 billion fake accounts in the first half of 2021. The social network also said it's taken a comprehensive approach to fighting misinformation, including building a network of "more than 80 independent fact-checking partners" and removing content that violates its community standards, including "more than 20 million pieces of false COVID-19 and vaccine content."

See also: Facebook privacy checkup time: 6 settings to inspect right now

Facebook has long faced criticism about what content it leaves up or pulls down, as well as scrutiny over whether the social network fairly enforces its rules. Following the Journal reports last week, lawmakers are also pressing the social network for more details on Instagram's impact on the mental health of teens. 

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