Facebook outlines its plan to tackle terrorism

More than 150 people employed at Facebook focus on counterterrorism

Facebook outlines its plan to tackle terrorism

[NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images]

Many questions have been asked about the role and responsibilities of the social media giants in the fight against terrorism. Facebook has outlined what it is doing to help. 

The company's Director of Global Policy Management, Monkia Bickert and Brian Fishman, Counterterrorism Policy Manager have produced a comprehensive blog, which states "There's no place on Facebook for terrorism".

While acknowledging there is no easy technical fix for this, Facebook has explained how it is using Artificial Intelligence, human expertise and partnerships with others to tackle terrorism.

There are some 150 people working at Facebook focused on counterterrorism. This includes academic experts on counterterrorism, former prosecutors, former law enforcement agents and analysts, and engineers.

Facebook's community operations team looks at content reported by users to ensure it does not violate the company policies. This can include footage promoting terrorist activities.

"This can be incredibly difficult work, and we support these reviewers with onsite counseling and resiliency training", said the company. 

These teams of people work alongside sophisticated artificial intelligence software that can act to prevent the spread of terrorist content. 

"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. We are currently focusing our most cutting edge techniques to combat terrorist content about ISIS, Al Qaeda and their affiliates, and we expect to expand to other terrorist organizations in due course." 

The functions of the AI include image matching, language understand and the removal of terrorist clusters. Facebook has also worked to ensure no terrorist activity takes place on any of their apps, including WhatsApp and Instagram. 

"Given the limited data some of our apps collect as part of their service, the ability to share data across the whole family is indispensable to our efforts to keep all our platforms safe."