Facebook Reveals Detailed Plan to Counter Terrorism

16 June, 2017, 06:28 | Author: Randy Kelley
  • Facebook discloses new details on removing terrorism content

Facebook says it's using artificial intelligence to help it combat terrorists' use of its platform.

Another complication is that terrorist activity is moving to new areas of the internet, such as encrypted messaging services Telegram and Facebook-owned WhatsApp. AI helps Facebook spot trends in posts flagged for terrorist activity, as well as blocking terrorists from starting new profiles.

"More than half the accounts we remove for terrorism are accounts we find ourselves; that is something that we want to let our community know so they understand we are really committed to making Facebook a hostile environment for terrorists", Bickert said in a telephone interview. "We want to answer those questions head on", wrote Facebook on Thursday.

In the same statement, the company said it would give brands more control over the kind of content that appears adjacent to their ads, pledging that "brands can opt-out of Instant Articles, Audience Network and in-stream ads on Facebook". Will Facebook discourage people from joining terrorist groups or stop them from posting about terrorism through its artificial intelligence technology? But the company doesn't use technology to screen new content for policy violations, saying computers lack the nuance to determine whether a previously uncategorized video is extremist.

One way is image matching, which removes a photograph or video that matches a known terrorism photo or video that has been taken off the site before. The machine learning algorithms work on a feedback loop and get better over time.

"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".

But artificial intelligence is now being used, for instance, to recognize when a freshly posted image or video matches one known to have been previously removed from the social network - which counts almost two billion users and involves more than 80 languages.

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This will involve looking for signals such as whether an account is friends with a high number of accounts that have been disabled for supporting terrorism.

According to the post, Facebook is also working harder to eliminate fake accounts used to circumvent the site's policies.

After a string of terror attacks over the past couple years, some social media companies are increasing their counterterrorism efforts.

"We agree with those who say that social media should not be a place where terrorists have a voice", Bickert and Fishman write.

"A photo of an armed man waving an ISIS flag might be propaganda or recruiting material, but could be an image in a news story".

More than 150 counterterrorism specialists who speak over 30 languages work tirelessly at Facebook to analyze incoming data from the platform as well as reports and reviews from the community itself.

For now, Facebook says two major global terror threats - ISIS and Al Qaeda - will be the main focus of "our most cutting edge techniques", but the company plans to expand those efforts to other terrorist groups in the future.

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