Facebook, Inc., the social networking service claiming to have 1.94 billion monthly active users worldwide, said Thursday it wants to be “a hostile place for terrorists.”
Criticized by some to be a platform for propaganda or even recruitment by terrorists, the U.S. company headquartered in Menlo Park, Northern California, pledged that it is “absolutely committed to keeping terrorism off our platform.”
Monika Bickert, Facebook’s Director of Global Policy Management, and Brian Fishman, the company’s Counterterrorism Policy Manager, acknowledged in a posting on its website that they believe social media should not be a place where terrorists have a voice.
However, before detailing what the company is doing or plans to do to help fight terrorism, they noted that “the challenge for online communities is the same as it is for real world communities – to get better at spotting the early signals before it’s too late.”
They revealed that the company has a team of more than 150 counterterrorism specialists, including academic experts on counterterrorism, former prosecutors, former law enforcement agents and analysts, working exclusively or primarily on countering terrorism as their core responsibility.
Besides, the two executives wrote that Facebook will grow its community operations teams around the world by 3,000 people over the next year, who will work 24 hours a day and in dozens of languages to review accounts or content that may violate its policies, including those that may be related to terrorism.
To keep terrorist content off Facebook, Facebook is also deploying artificial intelligence (AI) technology to stop anyone uploading a photo or video that matches a known terrorism photo or video; remove material related to pages, groups, posts or profiles already identified as supporting terrorism; and detect new fake accounts created by repeat offenders.
“We believe technology,” Bickert and Fishman wrote. adding that “although our use of AI against terrorism is fairly recent, it’s already changing the ways we keep potential terrorist propaganda and accounts off Facebook.”
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.” Enditem