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Facebook Actively Auto-generating Terror Content: Whistleblower

These Likes provide yet another means for individuals affiliated to extremist groups to network and recruit, the study said

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facebook is actively creating new terror content on the website with its auto-generation feature, alleges a whistleblower who analysed over 3,000 Facebook profiles of individuals expressing affiliation with terror or hate groups.

The social networking giant last year claimed that with the use of advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and a growing team of expert human reviewers it could now block 99 per cent of the terrorist content of Islamic State (IS), Al Qaeda, and affiliated groups before it was reported by users.

The study by the anonymous whistleblower working with the US-based non-profit National Whistleblower Center showed that terror and hate speech content are proliferating on Facebook.

The whistleblower found that 317 profiles out of the 3,228 surveyed contained the flag or symbol of a terrorist group in their profile images, cover photo, or featured photos on their publicly accessible profiles.

The five-month study also detailed hundreds of other individuals who had publicly and openly shared images, posts, and propaganda of the IS, Al Qaeda and other known terror groups, including media that appeared to be of their own militant activity.

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FILE – An Indian man surfs a Facebook page at an Internet cafe in New Delhi, India, Feb. 9, 2016. VOA

Alleging that Facebook is likely breaking the law by “misleading” shareholders about terror and hate content, the whistleblower has filed a petition with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

After the five-month study period ending in December 2018, the whistleblower found that terror and hate content generated by Facebook is “Liked” by thousands of Facebook users.

These Likes provide yet another means for individuals affiliated to extremist groups to network and recruit, the study said.

Also Read- Machine Learning and AI: The Puzzle is Not Solved Yet

Facebook came under increased scrutiny after the New Zealand mosque shooting in March was live streamed on the platform.

Co-founder of the social networking site Chris Hughes earlier this week stressed that it is time to break up Facebook and said the government must hold its CEO Mark Zuckerberg “accountable”. (IANS)

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Facebook Loses its Place Among the World’s 10 Most Valuable Brands

Only 28 per cent of Facebook users believed the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79 per cent

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Hit by privacy scandals and year-round investigations, Facebook has lost its place among the world’s 10 most valuable brands in global brand consultancy Interbrand’s annual ranking of best top 100 brands.

Facebook fell to the 14th spot. Two years back, the social networking giant was at the eighth spot in the list, billed as a “rapidly appreciating” brand.

Apple led the top 100 best brands’ list, followed by Google and Amazon. Microsoft was the fourth, Coca Cola fifth and Samsung came sixth on the list.

The seventh spot was grabbed by Toyota, Mercedes was the eighth, McDonald’s ninth and Disney was at the 10th spot.

Pitching for breaking up Facebook, US-based software giant Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has called the social networking platform “new cigarettes” which are making kids addictive. Benioff said that the company must be held accountable now.

Several US lawmakers like Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have also been pitching to break up Facebook.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 40 state attorneys general in the US have decided to join probe against Facebook’s anti-competitive business practices.

Facebook this year agreed to pay $5 billion as a settlement to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over privacy violations.

According to a survey by independent research firm Ponemon Institute in 2018, users’ confidence in Facebook plunged by 66 per cent after Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users.

Also Read: Apple Users can Now Report Accidents, Traffic on Google Maps

Only 28 per cent of Facebook users believed the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79 per cent.

“We found that people care deeply about their privacy and when there is a mega data breach, as in the case of Facebook, people will express their concern. And some people will actually vote with their feet and leave,” Ponemon said in a statement. (IANS)