Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
IT&Software | By Jimmie Castillo

Facebook says using AI to fight terrorism on its platform

Facebook says using AI to fight terrorism on its platform

"AI allows us to remove the black-and-white cases very, very quickly", said Brian Fishman, the lead policy manager for counterterrorism at Facebook. Some government officials have threatened to fine Facebook or strip its broad content liability protections.

They also say that when the company receives reports of potential "terrorism posts", it reviews those reports urgently.

Facebook is also using image matching tools to prevent users from uploading a known terrorist video or picture as well as algorithms to spot clusters of related profiles, pages and groups supporting terrorism. We remove terrorists and posts that support terrorism whenever we become aware of them.

It claims the use of AI, albeit a recent development in its efforts, is already paying dividends with the move an indication of its wider efforts to improve its efficiency when it comes to censoring such material, according to the pair.

To combat the spread of terror-related content online, Facebook announced Thursday that it will bolster its automated and human-powered efforts to flag and take down extremists posts, and will develop data-sharing systems across its family of social media and messaging apps. But the company doesn't use technology to screen new content for policy violations, saying computers lack the nuance to determine whether a previously uncategorized video is extremist. "We are researching systems that can look at photos and videos to flag content our team should review".

"We have recently started to experiment with using AI to understand text that might be advocating for terrorism", she said.

Even though the technology is under development and is now not in its established state, Brian Fishman, Facebook's lead policy manager for counterterrorism, said the company had a team of 150 specialists working in 30 languages doing such reviews. "That analysis goes into an algorithm that is in the early stages of learning how to detect similar posts", the blog post said.

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"Our technology is going to continue to evolve just as we see the terror threat continue to evolve online", Ms Bickert told the BBC.

Facebook against terrorism. Image: theUSBport.

However, Ms Bickert said that this won't mean giving up the keys to encryption on services such as Whatsapp.

According to the company, technology can not catch everything and "algorithms are not yet as good as people when it comes to understanding this kind of context". It's also hired more than 150 counter-terrorism specialists, including academic experts on counterterrorism, former prosecutors, former law enforcement agents and analysts and engineers.

"I like to think of it as using the computers to do what computers do well and using people to do what people do well". This includes videos or images of horrendous beheadings, violent content and other disturbing events.

Facebook's post on Thursday provided greater detail about how it spots and polices terrorism content on a site used by almost two billion people each month.

The company says it has begun focusing its "most cutting edge techniques" to combat the problem and clearly now believes it needs to be seen to be acting.

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