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    Facebook Reportedly Auto-Generating Extremist Videos, Infuriating Twitter Users

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    Although Facebook has repeatedly stressed that it prohibits hateful treatment based on race, ethnicity or religion, a confidential whistleblower’s recent complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission indicates that the social media giant has failed to practice what it preaches.

    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*.

    READ MORE: Facebook 'Unintentionally Uploaded' 1.5 Million Email Contacts Without Consent

    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”.

    “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”.

    READ MORE: Facebook Admits It Stored Millions of Instagram Passwords in Plain Text

    In March, Facebook, which also owns the photo and video-sharing service Instagram, announced that it would ban white supremacist and separatist content on both platforms.

    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

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    militant groups, videos, users, propaganda, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, United States
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