Saturday, May 11, 2019

Facebook 'auto-generated' extremist video

Facebook has been accused of "auto-generating" extremist content, including a celebratory jihadist video and a business page for al-Qaeda.

The material was uncovered by an anonymous whistleblower who filed an official complaint to US regulators.

Similar content for self-identified Nazis and white supremacist groups was also found online.

Facebook said it had got better at deleting extreme content but its systems were not perfect.

The whistleblower's study lasted five months and monitored pages of 3,000 people who liked or connected to organisations listed as terrorist groups by the US government.

The study found that groups such as the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda were "openly" active on the social network.

In addition, it found that Facebook's own tools were automatically creating fresh content for the proscribed groups by producing "celebration" and "memories" videos when pages racked up enough views or "likes", or had been active for a certain number of months.

The local business page for al-Qaeda generated by Facebook's tools had 7,410 "likes" and gave the group "valuable data" it could use when recruiting people or seeking out supporters, the complaint said.

On the local business page, Facebook's algorithms populated the page with job descriptions that users put in their profiles. It also copied images, branding and flags used by the group.



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