Following many recent terror attacks, a common question that’s asked is whether tech companies are doing enough to fight terrorism online. To answer this question, Facebook decided to publish a blog post today that showed us how the company goes about fighting terrorism online. Facebook admits that while terrorism has no place on its platform and removes such content when it’s aware, it faces an enormous challenge in monitoring the posts of over 2 billion people in 80 languages.
So how does Facebook go about fighting terrorism on the platform used by so many people? The latest answer to that question is Artificial Intelligence. At the moment, many of accounts spreading terrorist content are identified by Facebook itself. However, the company has now started utilizing AI to identify and remove terrorist content. Many of these efforts are still in their early stages. As such, they are currently used to combat terrorist content about ISIS, Al Qaeda, and their affiliates. Over time Facebook hopes to expand these solutions after they mature to combat content posted by other terrorist organizations.
But what are these techniques? For starters, there’s image matching that involves identifying whether an image someone is uploading matches known terrorist photos or videos. Cross-platform collaboration across all of Facebook’s apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram is also being utilized. Additionally, Facebook has also begun experimenting with AI to translate text in different languages and understand it to identify whether it’s advocating terrorism. Furthermore, the company is also building algorithms to detect fake accounts used by terrorists and removing terrorist clusters such as pages, groups, posts or profiles.
Yet, despite these advanced AI technologies, the greatest asset that Facebook has in its fight against terrorism online, is people. This is because as Facebook describes, “AI can’t catch everything. Figuring out what supports terrorism and what does isn’t always straightforward, and algorithms are not yet as good as people when it comes to understanding this kind of context. 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.”
Thus, the main weapon in Facebook’s fight to identify and stop terrorist content are the reports submitted by people that use it. Facebook has stated its community operations team works 24 hours a day and in multiple languages to verify these reports. Additionally, the company also has a dedicated team of over 150 counter-terrorism specialists. There’s also a global team on standby and ready to respond within minutes to requests from law enforcement organizations.
Similarly, Facebook has supported and joined other initiatives by governments and NGO’s to combat the spread of terrorist content online. The company is also working in partnership with Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube to create a shared industry database to identify content produced by or in support of terrorist organizations.
So is Facebook doing enough to combat the spread of terrorist content online? Time and time again, we’ve seen exactly how ineffective its primary tool: the user reporting function can be. A Facebook page can spread terrorist propaganda or advocate racism or post unwarranted pictures of schoolgirls. Yet, unless a large number of people submit reports, Facebook is unlikely to take any action.
However, monitoring a platform utilized every day by nearly 2 billion people in over 80 languages is no easy task. It’s clear that Facebook is certainly trying to ensure that it’s platform is a safe one. And it’s likely that once its tools utilizing AI are mature, the task will be a lot easier. But until then, Facebook will be involved in a long tiring war to keep its platform safe.
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WordCamp Colombo, Sri Lanka 23rd September 2017 at the BMICH WordCamps are community-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. This is the first WordCamp which organized in Sri Lanka.
WordCamp Colombo, Sri Lanka
23rd September 2017 at the BMICH
WordCamps are community-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. This is the first WordCamp which organized in Sri Lanka.
(Saturday) 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo
#ngage is a free and open forum of tech and social media enthusiasts from all walks of life that come together to share knowledge, exchange ideas and discuss emerging trends
#ngage is a free and open forum of tech and social media enthusiasts from all walks of life that come together to share knowledge, exchange ideas and discuss emerging trends in technology and the internet.
It is a community driven event that is open to the public, typically attended by IT professionals, Internet buffs, entrepreneurs, bloggers and journalists.
Agenda for #ngage
* Being relevant in the age of the inevitable
– Isura Silva (General Manager, Sarvodaya-Fusion)
* “Lost in Translation” – How to engage with the language.
– Aysha Maryam Cassim (Teacher. Translator. Writer.)
* The art of sci-fi: on being a Sri Lankan author in an International world
– Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Author, Big Data Researcher)
Design expert Danny Setiawan from NYC will be giving us a talk at The Hive on User Interface, User Experience, building web platforms, and looking at each and every touchpoint
Design expert Danny Setiawan from NYC will be giving us a talk at The Hive on User Interface, User Experience, building web platforms, and looking at each and every touchpoint from the consumer’s perspective.
Come join us – for an interesting discussion on the 27th!
(Wednesday) 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
MAS Innovation Center
#50 Foster Lane, Colombo