On Thursday, Facebook announced that the company uses artificial intelligence to deter and remove terrorist propaganda on its platform, while increasing its team of counter terrorism specialists to more than 150, as the social network pushes back against accusations that it does not do enough to stop extremism. It is a response to political pressure in Europe to militant groups using the social network for propaganda and recruiting.
Facebook uses artificial intelligence for image matching that allows the company to see if a photo or video being uploaded matches a known photo or video from groups it has defined as terrorist, such as Islamic State, Al Qaeda and their affiliates, the company said in the blog post.
Facebook also shared that while its current efforts primarily focus on ISIS and Al Qaeda and their affiliates, the company is looking to use technology to combat other terrorist activity in the future. The authors of the blog post added that monitoring Facebook is quite difficult, with nearly 2 billion global users who write in more than 80 different languages.
Recent attacks in London and Manchester have increased pressure on tech companies to show they are taking action. The UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who has accused the platforms
“safe spaces” for terrorists online, launched a joint anti-terror campaign
targeting social media companies with French President Emmanuel Macron this
“We agree with those who say that social media should not be a place where terrorists have a voice,” Monica Bickert, Facebook’s director of global police management, and Brian Fishman, its counterterrorism policy manager, wrote in a blog post. “We want to be very clear how seriously we take this, keeping our community safe on Facebook is critical to our mission. Our stance is simple: There’s no place on Facebook for terrorism.”
“We remove terrorists and posts that support terrorism whenever we become aware of them. When we receive reports of potential terrorism posts, we review those reports urgently with scrutiny.”
The social media giant also said that it plans to boost its “counter-speech” efforts, to encourage influential voices to condemn and call-out terrorism online to prevent people from being radicalized. It has also announced that plus a number of other steps it says it is taking as it faces growing pressure from government leaders to identify and prevent the spread of content from terrorist groups on its massive social network.
In addition to artificial intelligence, the post also discussed how Facebook uses both human expertise and partnerships to fight terrorist activity on the site.
“In order to more quickly identify and slow the spread of terrorist content online, we joined with Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube six months ago, to announce a shared industry database of “hashes”, unique digital fingerprints for photos and videos, for content produced by or in support of terrorist organizations,” the post said.
Bickert said they were
already in the process of hiring the new moderators and were looking for
expertise in languages and subjects such as self-harm and hate speech.
“The will of the industry is there,” she said. “It is not easy as flipping a switch.”
Meanwhile, by 4:00AM GMT-4, Facebook, Inc traded 0.30%, or 0.45, to $149.80. It opened in $147.67, with a session high of $150.04 and a session low of $146.37. Its market capitalization was 432.85 billion and its P/E ratio was 37.53.
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