Facebook’s introducing ISIS members to one another, research reveals

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There’s a good chance you’ve met someone new through Facebook, after all CEO Mark Zuckerberg always stated his primary goal is to connect people.

But it seems that the company may be connecting the wrong type of people; namely ISIS and other extremists.

According to a report by The Telegraph, researchers have discovered that Facebook’s “suggested friends” feature — a feature that’s integral to growing the social network’s web of relationships — has introduced extremists to other extremists across some 96 countries.

“Facebook, in their desire to connect as many people as possible have inadvertently created a system which helps connect extremists and terrorists,” researcher Robert Postings told the publication.

In addition to acting as an unintentional extremist chat room, Facebook also seemingly suggests non-extremist users to extremists by simply clicking on news pages about the Philippines.

The report, which will be published this month by Counter Extremism Project, does shed light on the echo-chambers within Facebook’s massive 2.2-billion user community. But extremism is also against the social network’s terms of service.

The company has previously taken a firm stance on terrorism and extremism, suggesting that it’s “newest detection technology focuses on ISIS, al-Qaeda, and their affiliates”.

Researchers however found that less than half of the extremist accounts they observed were removed by the social network within six months.

Ironically, it may be one of Facebook’s defining features, that have connected millions of people with one another, that’s become a boon for ISIS, al-Qaeda and other extremists across the world.

H/T: The Telegraph

Feature image: Memeburn

Andy Walker, former editor


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