Facebook struggles with ‘mission impossible’ to stop online extremism

Social networking giant faces critique for doing not enough to avoid extremist content as terrorists find methods for bypassing its rules

Facebook moderators identified greater than 1,300 posts on the website as credible terrorist threats in one month and face a jason bourne to manage the quantity of content proliferated by extremists, based on internal documents and testimony presented to the Protector.

A document circulated towards the teams given the job of policing the website states there have been 1,340 credible terrorist threat escalations last August.

Which means that potentially worrying extremist content or propaganda was passed to senior Facebook managers who then deleted or disabled 311 posts and accounts.

Eight of the very most serious reports were evaluated through the services internal counter-terrorism team, the document adds. Additionally, it states the data gleaned from moderators was really a massive assistance on identifying new terrorist organisations/leaders.

The figures are the initial understanding of the amount of terrorist-related reports worked with by Facebook, which rarely reveals information regarding the size from the problems it handles every single day.

Requested concerning the documents, Facebook contested the figures but didn’t elaborate. Additionally, it declined to provide figures for other several weeks.

Other files show Facebook has designated the western-backed Free Syrian Army, that is fighting to depose obama, Bashar al-Assad, like a terrorist group.

Tackling terrorist-related content is among Facebooks priority areas. The Protector continues to be told it is trying to help control the issue by utilizing software to intercept extremist content before it will get on the website.

This requires monitoring activity from known bad accounts and fanning to others associated with them. Over fifty percent the terrorist-related content removed by Facebook has become identified in this manner.

A Facebook document on counter-terrorism. Photograph: Guardian

But one source familiar with Facebooks counter-terrorism policies said extremist groups such as Islamic State could easily circumvent moderators to distribute content across the site.

The source said the volume of material often meant moderators had less than 10 seconds to make a decision that may require intimate understanding of the terrorist organisation and it is leaders. Its a jason bourne, the origin stated.

The figures for last August are incorporated within the lots of documents seen through the Protector that comprise the Facebook Files.

They put down in unparalleled detail how a social networking company has attempted to balance its commitment to free speech with growing demands for it to more aggressively challenge abuse and violence on the platform.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/may/24/facebook-struggles-with-mission-impossible-to-stop-online-extremism

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