Hate Speech Crime on Facebook

Facebook’s influence reaches globally, with over 3 billion active monthly users spanning nearly every country. With such a vast user base, it’s no surprise that the platform suffers from high levels of misconduct. In this guide, we’ve brought together the latest Facebook crime statistics so you can learn more.

As one of the world’s leading social networks, Facebook is a breeding ground for various fraudulent activities, from romance scams to deceptive marketplace listings and malicious posts aimed at phishing and disseminating malware.

The sheer size of Facebook’s user community results in a diverse range of ideologies, some of which include deep-rooted prejudice, misinformation, or outright hate speech. In this article, we have compiled essential crime statistics to highlight the scope and severity of these issues on Facebook.

Top Facebook Crime and Hate Speech Statistics for 2024

Below, you can see a compilation of the worst Facebook hate speech statistics:

1. On Facebook, racism accounts for 53% of all hate speech

According to the latest research from Gitnux, more than half of all hate speech incidents on Facebook are race-motivated attacks.

2. Facebook removed more than 27.6 million pieces of hate speech in 2023

The information gained from Facebook by Statista revealed that the social media giant had to remove more than 27 million pieces of hate speech from its platform in the second and third quarters of 2023 alone. This underscores the breadth of the problem.

3. In 2021, Facebook reported a 50% drop in hate speech

Facebook publishes limited information regarding the amount of hate speech it encounters. According to Facebook’s 2021 Community Standards Enforcement Report – the prevalence of hate speech was around 0.05% of all content viewed. That accounts for around 5 views per every 10,000 posts. At the time, Facebook said hate speech had gone down “by almost 50% in the last three quarters”.

4. In Q4 of 2023, Facebook found that violations remained consistent

In 2023 Facebook reported that “violating content remained relatively consistent across a wide range of violation areas.” This highlights that even with the introduction of enhanced proactive detection technologies that help to block offending content, including hate speech, users are still using Facebook for misconduct at unnerving rates.

5. Facebook is leveraging AI to block offending content before it is published

In 2021, Facebook announced it was doing much better at blocking offending content using AI. According to the company, 97% of the hate speech the platform took down in the latter half of 2020 was removed by its automated systems long before a human user flagged it. This means that although the prevalence of posts containing hate speech is still high, the amount getting through to users is decreasing.

6. 62% of Facebook users encounter scams every week

According to Aura, nearly two-thirds of Facebook users encounter scams every week. This is a reminder that the platform is jam-packed with criminals seeking to use posts, fake marketplace ads, and malicious direct messages to engage in phishing, malware dissemination, ide theft, and fraud.

7. 40% of romance scam victims say it started on social media

Reports published by the Federal Trade Commission in 2023 reveal that 40% of internet users victimized by Romance Scams meet their scammer on social media sites, including Facebook. This is a reminder that any website or service that allows for direct social interaction harbors the risk of scammers.

In 2022, 70,000 US victims lost a whopping $1.3 billion to romance scams. $520 million of the dollars lost started on social media sites like Facebook.

8. UK police believe there are more Facebook crimes

According to research by the UK’s Surrey Police Department, crimes originating on Facebook are believed to be more common than on Twitter and Instagram.

Surrey police used a survey to question UK police officer’s perception of the prevalence of crime on social media. The results showed that around two-thirds of police officers from 43 British forces believed crimes are worse on Facebook.

Social media crimes

9. More than a third of Facebook Marketplace ads are scams

Research conducted by TSB Bank reveals that a whopping 34% of Facebook Marketplace listings are scams. The report suggests UK customers are losing over £160,000 a day making purchases via Facebook. In 2023, UK consumers potentially lost a staggering 60 million pounds via the platform.

10. Between 2021 and 2023, social media became the #1 place for classified scams

In 2021, classified scams by email, SMS, and the internet were more common. However, by 2023, social media had completely overtaken all other forms of classified scams, accounting for 36% percent of all reports.

11. 16% of all UK crime originates on Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram

According to research conducted by This is Money in 2023, 16% of all crimes in the UK originate on one of Meta’s three platforms: Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp. The researchers were quick to point out that this means social-media-related crimes involving Facebook are more prevalent than burglaries, robberies, homicide, and knife crimes in the UK.

12. US Police Agencies on Facebook overreport on black suspects

According to research carried out by Stanford University, US police are helping to exacerbate discrimination and prejudice on Facebook. It found that police agencies on Facebook “overreport on black suspects in all violent crime categories”.

Stanford University researchers found that despite accounting for just 20% of the criminals arrested for violent crimes, black suspects were named in 32% of police agencies’ Facebook posts. That accounts for a massive 138% over-representation.

Stanford researchers rightly point out that this will negatively affect public perception and help to further antagonize racial devices.

13. Facebook account takeovers are skyrocketing

In March 2024, The Verge reported that 41 Attorneys General sent a letter to Meta demanding they do more to protect users against account takeovers. The request made to Meta’s Chief Legal Office asked the company to invest in protecting accounts to lessen the burden on Attorney General resources in the wake of skyrocketing takeovers. The latest stats reveal that account takeovers spiked from 73 in 2019 to 783 in 2023 in New York state alone.

14. 3 in 4 cyberbullying targets suffered on Facebook

According to research by ADL, three-quarters of cyberbullying victims experienced bullying on Facebook. This makes Facebook the most common platform for victims to suffer cyberbullying when compared with other popular social media sites (Twitter (24%), YouTube (21%), Instagram (24%), WhatsApp (11%), Reddit (9%), Snapchat (15%), Discord (7%) and Twitch (6%).

Cyberbullying on Facebook