Helping people report live videos showing offensive or flagrant content

Product Design Lead at Facebook (2016)

When Facebook went on a month-long “lockdown” in early 2016 to ship Live Videos on its platform, I oversaw the product design and direction of a new reporting flow empowering people to report objectionable, sensitive content from Live Videos. I conceived, coordinated, designed, executed, and ship a product resulting in higher report volumes of objectionable content that our Community Operations organization was able to remove. This enables Facebook to become a safer platform for people to be their authentic selves.

Objective

Empower people to report live videos showing offensive or flagrant content, such as graphic violence, hate speech, nudity and pornography, spam, and more.

Background

Up until this project, I had been investigating how to improve Facebook’s existing reporting flow so that people can better flag objectionable content anywhere from Facebook. The existing reporting flow wasn’t efficient nor ideal in meeting users’ needs. Furthermore, it was built on a legacy code base constrained making meaningful iterative design and engineering changes. Furthermore, it was a product that many cross-functional teams had much stake and voice in, such as the Policy, Communications, and Community Operations teams.

Through ample user research, our team highlighted that these were the core needs and expectations that people have been they encounter a problem on Facebook. Our responsiblity was to meet people where they are at.

01

Discover

People know where and how to report content on Facebook.

02

Express

People can express and articulate what their issue is.

03

Take Action

People know that they can take action to resolve their problem.

04

Confirmation

People know that their issue is being taken care of.

What was wrong with the existing reporting flow?

The legacy reporting system was filled with many UX and UI problems that made it challenging for people to discover, express their problem, and see the help they needed.


The opportunity

When Mark Zuckerberg announced internally that the company would focus deeply on Live Videos for a month-long sprint, my team joined its efforts. Rather than adapt the existing reporting flow to Live Videos, we built a new one from scratch. I worked rapidly across multiple time zones with stakeholders in Product, Policy, and Community Operations to understand our requirements, unblock constraints and unknowns, and drive alignment to ship an improved reporting flow. This new reporting flow made it easier for people to discover, express their problem, and find the help that they need from Facebook.

Improvements in the new reporting flow introduced new principles to bring into our reporting system overall:

Richer Expression

How might we help people better express their issues on our platform? The new reporting form relies on tags and open-textfield for user input. This made it possible for people to select multiple tags, allowing fuller expression of their problem. They could also now describe their issues in in their own words.


Dynamic and Personalized

How might we better affirm we’re listening to your issues? Amidst the wide range of issues that people can select, we recognize that suicide and self-injury are immediate emergencies require instant aid. That’s why we ask people to contact their law enforcements, who are most equipped to handle the situation in real-time.


Clearer Confirmation

How might we give people clear expectations of what’s next? Whereas the previous reporting flow did not give people confidence that they submitted a report, this one clarifies it better through iconography, typographic hierarchy, and content.

Outcomes

The Live Video reporting flow was more effective in flagging flagrant content than the existing reporting flow. When we A/B launched the two flows, we found that the new reporting flow captured:

  • 1.5x more policy-violating Live broadcasts.
  • 7.5x more distinct people reporting Live broadcasts.
  • 5.75x more distinct Live broadcasts reviewable by our Community Operations team.


Recap

This project was exciting and allowed our team to move fast with the validation we had already heard from our data and user research. I approached the project with these principles in mind:

  • Collaboration
    Drove end-to-end design and development across multiple internal organizations (Product, Policy, Communications, Community Operations) with colleagues in Menlo Park, Seattle, and London.
  • Agile
    Coordinated agilely with core Live Videos team to develop a consistent product experience in tandem with each other.
  • Extensibility
    Developed an extensible product framework applicable to varying severity of reporting use cases, ranging from most “minor” (nudity or sex acts) to most critical (suicide and self-injury).