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Whistleblower calls out Facebook for auto-generating extremist content for terror groups

On September 18, a whistleblower filed an additional report showing that, despite promises to the American Congress from Facebook, the company continues to create terror and hate content for various extremist groups.

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be accurate.

Dylan Gibbons Montreal, QC

On September 18, a whistleblower filed an additional report showing that, despite promises to the American Congress from Facebook, the company continues to create terror and hate content for various extremist groups.

The whistleblower’s first petition came nine months ago and was supported by the National Whistleblower Center (NWC). In the petition, the whistleblower detailed “Facebook’s deception of shareholders and the public regarding terror and hate content on its website, the whistleblower has filed a supplement showing further deception, the NWC reports.

The supplemental report shows that Facebook has been auto-generating business pages for several terror and hate groups, including those affiliated with ISIS and al Qaeda. Additionally, the report shows that these groups are still able to disseminate their own material on the platform, despite Facebook’s insistence that they are dealing with the problem.

According to the NWC, “As of September 11, 2019, nearly 191 auto-generated pages for ISIS and the Islamic State were still up and active. None of these pages identified in the supplemental filing were caught by Facebook’s automated detection program despite Facebook alleging it was designed to do just that.”

The original petition was filed with the SEC in January of this year and was later reported on by the Associated Press with explosive results. This led to Representative Max Rose grilling Facebook representative Monica Bickert during a testimony to the committee on June 26, 2019. During the testimony, she claimed that Facebook is aggressively dealing with the proliferation of terrorist materials on their platform, but the new whistleblower report shows that “Facebook is leaving significant amounts of extremist content intact and, in actuality, adding new extremist content.”

John Kostyack, Executive Director of NWC, stated that “Facebook would like us to believe that its magical algorithms are somehow scrubbing its website of extremist content, stated. “Yet those very same algorithms are auto-generating pages with titles like ‘I Love Islamic State,’ which are ideal for terrorists to use for networking and recruiting.

“Each day that these pro-terror pages created by Facebook remain on its website, terror and hate groups benefit,” Kostyack continued. “It is time for the SEC to rein in Facebook’s deception of its shareholders and the public on its approach to terrorism and white supremacy. Facebook should be forced to come clean about the failures of its algorithms and begin taking meaningful steps to prevent extremist propaganda from proliferating.”

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