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See how Facebook uses AI to root out terrorist posts from its platform

See how Facebook uses AI to root out terrorist posts from its platform


Menlo park social media giant Facebook is using Artificial Intelligence to combat terrorism. In a blog post, titled Hard Questions: How We Counter Terrorism, the company revealed their behind-the-scenes work, on how they use AI to remove and monitor terrorist posts.

According to Monika Bickert, Director of Global Policy Management, and Brian Fishman, Counterterrorism Policy Manager, there’s no place on Facebook for terrorism. “The challenge for online communities is the same as it is for real world communities – to get better at spotting the early signals before it’s too late. We are absolutely committed to keeping terrorism off our platform, and we’ll continue to share more about this work as it develops in the future,” stated the post.

Here are some ways in which Facebook uses AI to weed out terrorism:

Image Matching: The Facebook blog cites how when someone tries to upload a terrorist photo or video, the systems checks whether the image matches a known terrorism photo or video. This means that if Facebook had previously removed a propaganda video from ISIS, we can work to prevent other accounts from uploading the same video to our site. In many cases, this means that terrorist content intended for upload to Facebook simply never reaches the platform.         

Removing terrorist clusters: Drawing upon the studies, Facebook used AI to identify Pages, groups, posts or profiles as supporting terrorism, and deploys algorithms to “fan out” to try to identify related material that may also support terrorism. “We use signals like whether an account is friends with a high number of accounts that have been disabled for terrorism, or whether an account shares the same attributes as a disabled account,” cited the post.

Cross-platform collaboration: Facebook’s commitment to weed out terrorism from its family of Facebook apps has translated into cross-platform collaboration, 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.

Facebook is also partnering with leading industry titans Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube six months ago to announce a shared industry database of “hashes”.  The social media behemoth has also teamed up NGOs for counter-speech training and support industry collaboration by organizations such as the EU Internet Forum, the Global Coalition Against Daesh, and the UK Home Office.

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