Accessibility links

Facebook Reports Progress in Removing Extremist Content


FILE - The Facebook logo is displayed in Paris, Jan. 17, 2017.

Facebook said on Wednesday that it was removing 99 percent of content related to militant groups Islamic State and al-Qaida before being told of it, as it prepared for a meeting with European authorities on tackling extremist content online.

Eighty-three percent of "terror content" is removed within one hour of being uploaded, Monika Bickert, head of global policy management, and Brian Fishman, head of counterterrorism policy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post.

The world's largest social media network, with 2.1 billion users, has faced pressure both in the United States and Europe to tackle extremist content on its platform more effectively.

FILE - Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of global policy management, talks about the site in Washington, Feb. 2, 2016.
FILE - Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of global policy management, talks about the site in Washington, Feb. 2, 2016.

In June, Facebook said it had ramped up use of artificial intelligence, such as image matching and language understanding, to identify and remove content quickly.

"It is still early, but the results are promising, and we are hopeful that AI (artificial intelligence) will become a more important tool in the arsenal of protection and safety on the internet and on Facebook," Bickert and Fishman wrote.

"Today, 99 percent of the ISIS and al Qaeda-related terror content we remove from Facebook is content we detect before anyone in our community has flagged it to us, and in some cases, before it goes live on the site."

ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State.

FILE - Brian Fishman, third from left, the head of counterterrorism policy at Facebook, and other representatives from Google, Microsoft and Twitter meet with G-7 interior ministers to discuss efforts in combating extremism on the internet during a Group of Seven meeting in Italy, Oct. 20, 2017.
FILE - Brian Fishman, third from left, the head of counterterrorism policy at Facebook, and other representatives from Google, Microsoft and Twitter meet with G-7 interior ministers to discuss efforts in combating extremism on the internet during a Group of Seven meeting in Italy, Oct. 20, 2017.

The blog post comes a week before Facebook and other social media companies such as Alphabet's Google and Twitter meet with European Union governments and the EU executive to discuss how to remove extremist content and hate speech online.

"Deploying AI for counterterrorism is not as simple as flipping a switch. ... A system designed to find content from one terrorist group may not work for another because of language and stylistic differences in their propaganda," Facebook said.

The European Commission in September told social media firms to find ways to remove the content faster, including through automatic detection technologies, or face possible legislation forcing them to do so.

XS
SM
MD
LG