Facebook reveals more details about how it combats terrorism

Adjust Comment Print

As terrorist groups like ISIS continue to leverage social media as a recruiting tool, Facebook is using artificial intelligence to weed out terrorist activity on its platform, according to a report from USA Today.

"This work is never finished because it is adversarial, and the terrorists are continuously evolving their methods too". The social network giant is also receiving questions from people regarding its role in fighting terrorism online.

"We've been able to dramatically reduce the time period that terrorist recidivist accounts are on Facebook", she said. This is a departure from Facebook's earlier practice of relying on users to flag suspect content for removal.

Once an account has been removed for posting terrorist content, Facebook has been using algorithms to search the social network connected with that account - including Pages and groups that account has joined or liked - to identify other accounts that may also be promoting terrorism.

British Prime Minister Thereasa May, in particular, has called for regulating "cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning".

In addition to targeting ISIS, Al Qaeda and their affiliates, they said Facebook's counterterrorism efforts will "expand to other terrorist organizations in due course". "Hashes" - a form of digital fingerprinting - help Facebook spot extremist content before it's even posted.

The ability of so-called Islamic State to use technology to radicalise and recruit people has raised major questions for the large technology companies.

But it also says that already more than half of the accounts that it removes for supporting terrorism are ones that it finds itself.

"We're now experimenting with analyzing text that we've already removed for praising or supporting terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Al Qaeda so we can develop text-based signals that such content may be terrorist propaganda".

Facebook's public discussion of its counterterrorism efforts is the first in a new series of efforts from the company to bring more transparency and discussion to the myriad of problems that Facebook has either created or contributed to.

The move comes as Facebook is being hounded by governments to do more to combat terrorism.

The statement from the company comes the same week the leaders of France and the United Kingdom said they would push for new laws in Europe to fine companies that don't remove such material promptly.

"We're constantly identifying new ways that terrorist actors try to circumvent our systems - and we update our tactics accordingly", Bickert and Fishman said.

Brian Fishman, Facebook's lead policy manager for counterterrorism, said the company had a team of 150 specialists working in 30 languages doing such reviews.

Here is how Facebook is the most advanced technology to stop uploading and promotion of the terrorist content on its platforms.

In the post, Bickert and Fishman admit "AI can't catch everything".

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Facebook has started deploying its artificial intelligence capabilities to help combat terrorists' use of its service.