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Facebook's Anti-Terrorism Policy: Terrorists can't even post pictures of babies, kittens

Ruchi Kumar | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:40 IST
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  • Facebook stepping up efforts to curb terrorist-related and harmful content on the platform . They will proactively go looking for harmful content and delete all related profiles
  • Teams equipped to target different languages are carrying out \"sweeps\" of pages, events and profiles of potential terror elements

Taking a cue from Google and Twitter, Facebook is now stepping up efforts against terrorism. The social networking giant allowed Wall Street Journal unique access to how it tackles terrorists on its platform.

Facebook will now proactively go looking for harmful content and delete all related profiles and content. "Facebook uses profiles it deems supportive of terrorism as a jumping-off point to identify and potentially delete associated accounts that also may post material that supports terrorism," the WSJ report stated.

Teams equipped to target different languages are carrying out "sweeps" of pages, events and profiles of potential terror elements.

The policy however would make little distinction between censoring free speech alongside hateful content. "If it's the leader of Boko Haram and he wants to post pictures of his two-year-old and some kittens, that would not be allowed," Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of global policy management, reports Gizmodo.

Facebook had previously come under severe criticism over its anti-terrorism policy and its lack of response in banning harmful and hateful content. Petitioners argued that Facebook wasn't as prompt with responding to terrorist threats as it was towards nudity.

"When an art lover posted 'The Origin of the World' by Gustave Courbet on Facebook, unsurprisingly, the ingenious porn-detection algorithm found it immediately," he pointed out. "But, when it comes to advocating terrorism and publishing decapitation videos: no worries, they enjoy a comfortable delay before the content or their account will be deleted."

To which Bickert responded with, "When a crisis happens anywhere in the world, we organize our employees and, if necessary, shift resources to ensure that we are able to respond quickly to any violating content on the site."

Twitter recently announced that since May 2015, it has shut down 125,000 terrorist-related accounts. Google, on the other hand, is allowing NGOs to feature anti-radicalisation ads on select targeted searches.

First published: 13 February 2016, 7:50 IST
 
Ruchi Kumar @RuchiKumar

Ruchi Kumar is an Indian journalist living in Kabul with her cat Bukhari. On most days, she reports on the ongoings in the region. Rest of the time, she reads, writes and wanders around Kabul looking for people who will tell stories.

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