Facebook says using AI to fight terrorism on its platform

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The company has more than 150 people concentrated on counterrorism, including former prosecutors, former law enforcement agents and engineers.

J.M. Berger, a fellow with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism at The Hague, said a large part of the challenge for companies like Facebook is figuring out what qualifies as terrorism - a definition that might apply to more than statements in support of groups like the Islamic State. In the past, Facebook and other tech giants relied mostly on users and human moderators to identify offensive content.

Facebook on Thursday said it was ramping up the use of artificial intelligence in a push to make the social network "a hostile place" for terrorists and extremists to spread messages of hate.

"We're constantly identifying new ways that terrorist actors try to circumvent our systems and we update our tactics accordingly". Fishman says, adding that it is a struggle indeed. Following attacks in London and Manchester in the past four months, UK Prime Minister Theresa May pressed other leaders from the Group of Seven nations to consider further regulation of social media companies to compel them to take additional steps against extremist content.

AI, Facebook says, is also useful for identifying and removing "terrorist clusters".

This comes as multiple lawsuits have also been filed against Facebook, Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) and Google (GOOGL, Tech30), accusing them of providing platforms for ISIS.

"It is an enormous challenge to keep people safe on a platform used by almost 2 billion every month, posting and commenting in more than 80 languages in every corner of the globe", Facebook said.

New measures include image-matching, language analysis and deeper forms of artificial intelligence to weed out threatening activity.

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"These are complicated and challenging problems, but we are committed to doing better and being part of a lasting solution", a YouTube spokesman said.

And though Bickert and Fishman attributed Facebook's moves to "questions" over recent terror attacks, Farid pointed out that the attacks spurred more than just questions.

Additionally, specialized training, partner programs, industry collaboration, and government partnerships all play a role in Facebook's work against terrorists online.

Facing growing criticism for its failure to stop the spread of offensive and otherwise inappropriate video, Facebook promised to hire another 3,000 human content monitors, in May.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said that it is focusing on "cutting edge techniques" to fight terrorist content about ISIS, Al Qaeda and their affiliates on its social networking site.

Facebook is now publicly owning up to how hard this problem is to solve - and calling for help from its community.

"There's no place on Facebook for terrorism".

"As we proceed, we certainly don't expect everyone to agree with all the choices we make. We're also learning over time, and sometimes we get it wrong", Elliot Schrage, Facebook's VP for public policy and communications, wrote in a blog post. We remove terrorists and posts that support terrorism whenever we become aware of them.

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