Facebook allowed photos of beheadings and violent hate speech from ISIS and the Taliban to be tagged as ‘insightful’ and ‘engaging’, a new report reveals.  

Extremists have turned to the social media platform as a weapon ‘to promote their hate-filled agenda and rally supporters’ on hundreds of groups, according to the review of activity between April and December this year. 

These groups have sprouted up across the platform over the last 18 months and vary in size from a few hundred to tens of thousands of members, the review found. 

One pro-Taliban group created in spring this year and had grown to 107,000 members before it was deleted, the review, published by Politico, claims. 

Overall, extremist content is ‘routinely getting through the net’, despite claims from Meta – the company that owns Facebook – that it’s cracking down on extremists.

The groups were discovered by Moustafa Ayad, an executive director at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that tracks online extremism. 

MailOnline has contacted Meta – the company led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg which owns several social media platforms inlcuidng Facebook – for comment. 

‘It’s just too easy for me to find this stuff online,’ said Ayad, who shared his findings with Politico. ‘What happens in real life happens in the Facebook world.’

‘It’s essentially trolling – it annoys the group members and similarly gets someone in moderation to take note, but the groups often don’t get taken down. 

‘That’s what happens when there’s a lack of content moderation.’ 

There were reportedly ‘scores of groups’ allowed to operate on Facebook that were supportive of either Islamic State or the Taliban. 

Some offensive posts were marked ‘insightful’ and ‘engaging’ using new Facebook tools released in November that were intended to promote community interactions. 

The posts championed violence from Islamic extremists in Iraq and Afghanistan, including videos of suicide bombings ‘and calls to attack rivals across the region and in the West’, Politico found. 

In several groups, competing Sunni and Shia militia reportedly trolled each other by posting pornographic images, while it others, Islamic State supporters shared links to terrorist propaganda websites and ‘derogatory memes’ attacking rivals.    


‘We do not allow individuals or organisations involved in organised crime, including those designated by the US government as specially designated narcotics trafficking kingpins (SDNTKs); hate; or terrorism, including entities designated by the US government as foreign terrorist organisations (FTOs) or specially designated global terrorists (SDGTs), to have a presence on the platform. We also don’t allow other people to represent these entities. 

‘We do not allow leaders or prominent members of these organisations to have a presence on the platform, symbols that represent them to be used on the platform or content that praises them or their acts. In addition, we remove any coordination of substantive support for these individuals and organisations.’

Taken from Meta’s transparency centre  

Source minus title: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10328801/Facebook-failed-crack-extremist-content-report-reveals.html

Image: Egret News


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