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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)

Next Story

Facebook Loses its Place in Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work’ List

The Top-100 list by Glassdoor is for large organisations or those with at least 1,000 employees. It bases its rankings on eight factors, including work/life balance, compensation and benefits and senior management, among others

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The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Mired in several controversies amid break-up calls from the US lawmakers, Facebook has once again slipped off Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” list for a second year in a row.

Facebook dropped to 23rd best place to work, falling 16 spots from last year’s position, and its award score fell from a 4.5 to 4.4 out of a perfect 5, according to the annual listing by the leading job website.

The top three spots are occupied by leading growth platform HubSpot, management consultancy firm Bain & Company and market leader in electronic signatures DocuSign, respectively.

Among the tech companies, Google is at 11th spot, LinkedIn at 12th, Microsoft at 21st, Salesforce at 34th, VMware at 36th, Adobe at 39th, Cisco at 77th, Accenture at 83th and Apple at 84th (the Cupertino-based iPhone maker slipped 13 spots from the last year’s list).

Amazon once again failed to enter the list of 100.

For Facebook, 2019 has been bad on the diplomatic front. Several US Senators have called for breaking up the social network amid repeated data breaches and privacy violations on the platform.

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Facebook has failed to comply with the subpoenas for more information related to the ongoing privacy investigation into its alleged privacy violations and Cambridge Analytica, the media has reported. Pixabay

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris has stressed that authorities should take a serious look at breaking up Facebook as the social network platform is a “utility that has gone unregulated”.

Another Democratic 2020 candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has also stressed upon the possibility of breaking up Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process.

Zuckerberg has promised his employees to “fight and win” if Democratic presidential hopeful Warren wins the 2020 election and moves forward with her stated plan to break up the big US tech firms.

Also Read: Here’s What India’s Privacy Bill Requires from Social Media Firms

The company in July agreed to pay record-breaking $5 billion to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as fine for users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving millions of users.

The US FTC is also investigating Facebook for potential monopolistic practices.

The Top-100 list by Glassdoor is for large organisations or those with at least 1,000 employees. It bases its rankings on eight factors, including work/life balance, compensation and benefits and senior management, among others. (IANS)