Facebook is inadvertently using militant groups’ propaganda to auto-generate videos and pages that could be used by extremists for networking, the AP reports.
The news outlet cited a confidential whistleblower’s complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as saying that during a five-month period in 2018, researchers monitored the Facebook pages of users who affiliated themselves with groups the US State Department blacklists as terrorist organisations, including al-Qaeda* and Daesh*.
At the time, 38 percent of the posts with extremist groups’ symbols were removed. However, the AP referred to its own review which revealed that “as of this month, much of the banned content cited in the study — an execution video, images of severed heads, propaganda honouring martyred militants — slipped through the algorithmic web and remained easy to find on Facebook”.
This comes a few weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that “in areas like terrorism, for al-Qaeda and ISIS-related content, now 99 percent of the content that we take down in the category our systems flag proactively before anyone sees it”.
Most Twitter users hit out at Facebook, describing the social networking giant’s behaviour as “irresponsible” and “demonic”.
I'm starting to wonder if FB isn't the greatest Trojan horse of all time--in that billions invited it right in. And if extremism was early on recognized as a super-profitable revenue stream (same with Twitter) and if Zuckerberg, who was always shady, is some kind of Bond villain.— JKDAnthony10 (@JKDAnthony10) 9 мая 2019 г.
Evil platform! Won't use it!— Chrystaroth (@Chrystaroth) 9 мая 2019 г.
Hey! Mark Zuckerberg. This is not what "doing better" looks like.— El Allard (@el1_all) 10 мая 2019 г.
Every other month there is another horror from that site. Glad I deleted FB last year.— Dave Stein (@Dave_Stein) 9 мая 2019 г.
So glad I broke up with Facebook six months ago— My Highest Good Life (@HighestGoodLife) 9 мая 2019 г.
There's a reason why almost all techie-minded individuals dont use Facebook.— Shinx (@pwnage__101) 9 мая 2019 г.
Yet more reasons to avoid Facebook— Neil (@ns_brady) 10 мая 2019 г.
I’m starting to think there is a problem on Facebook— Pence knew (@clizzie27) 9 мая 2019 г.
Facebook is trash— Connor (@ConnorTrueStory) 9 мая 2019 г.
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are censoring in a biased way what has evolved into free speech here on the web, which is the new public square. All these platforms should be seized by the gvt & regulated like a public utility for censoring only one side.— UncleAndyAgain (@AgainUncle) 9 мая 2019 г.
@facebook Can't imagine what the serial killers & rapist annual pages celebrate. Good work debasing our culture Facebook. Celebrate Jihad but kick people off for being pro-life. Facebook, you are sick.— PA (@PaMars21) 10 мая 2019 г.
“Facebook, you are sick”, one netizen tweeted in what was echoed by another user who claimed that Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms “should be seized by the government and regulated like a public utility for censoring only one side”.
Even so, researchers in the SEC complaint reportedly managed to identify more than 30 auto-generated pages for white supremacist groups, including “The American Nazi Party” and the “New Aryan Empire”, both prohibited by Facebook.
*Al-Qaeda, a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries