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Here’s how Facebook and Google plan to fight terrorism

Both Facebook and Google have revealed how they are countering terrorist activity on their respective blogs this past week.

These posts come after UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticised the internet for providing a safe space for terrorists to communicate — and after Facebook itself dodged a lawsuit that claimed it was the reason Palestinian terrorists were able to kill numerous Israelis.

Facebook revealed it is looking specifically at how artificial and human intelligence can work together, as well as partnering with other companies, NGOs and governments to bring an end to terror.

The company is working on software that identifies when a user attempts to upload an image or video that has already been removed as terrorism propaganda. It is also looking at the language terrorists use to rally, and are attempting to catch posts before they are uploaded to the platform.

Facebook’s software can identify when a user attempts to upload an image or video that has already been removed as terrorism propaganda

Clusters of terrorists are also being identified, and accounts with a high number of friends identified as terrorists are being disabled.

Google is working on similar AI that identifies images and videos as terrorist propaganda — and, like Facebook, it has employed real people to identify if this content is being used for news or glorification.

The company has also asserted that it will be taking a tougher stance on videos that “do not clearly violate our policies.” These videos, such as those with supremacist content, will be demonetised, made ineligible for comments and will be generally more difficult to find.

Finally, both Facebook and Google are working with other partners in counter-radicalisation attempts. For Google, this means working on a “Redirect Method” that sends targeted adverts to potential ISIS recruits.

For Facebook, it means working on the P2P: Facebook Global Digital Challenge that has reached more than 56 million people worldwide through more than 500 anti-hate and extremism campaigns.

Featured image: MarineCorps NewYork via Flickr (CC 2.0 BY, resized)

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More

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