Facebook removed more than 26 million pieces of content related to global terrorist groups like Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda in the last two years, 99 per cent of which were proactively identified and removed before anyone reported it to the company.
“We have identified a wide range of groups as terrorist organizations based on their behaviour, not their ideologies, and we do not allow them to have a presence on our services,” Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday.
The social networking platform said it has banned more than 200 white supremacist organisations from its platform.
“We use a combination of AI and human expertise to remove content praising or supporting these organizations,” said the company.
Facebook said some of these changes predate the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, but that attack, and the global response to it in the form of Christchurch Call to Action, has strongly influenced the recent updates to its policies and their enforcement.
“The attack demonstrated the misuse of technology to spread radical expressions of hate, and highlighted where we needed to improve detection and enforcement against violent extremist content,” the company noted.
Facebook will further detail how it is enforcing its policies against terrorist organisations in the fourth edition of its “Community Standards Enforcement Report” in November.
Facebook has also co-developed a nine-point industry plan in partnership with Microsoft, Twitter, Google and Amazon, which outlines the steps it is taking to address the abuse of technology to spread terrorist content.
“We’ll need to continue to iterate on our tactics because we know bad actors will continue to change theirs, but we think these are important steps in improving our detection abilities,” said the company.
The video of the attack in Christchurch did not prompt Facebook’s automatic detection systems because it “did not have enough content depicting first-person footage of violent events” to effectively train its machine learning technology.
“That’s why we’re working with government and law enforcement officials in the US and UK to obtain camera footage from their firearms training programs – providing a valuable source of data to train our systems.”