From its 1.15 billion mobile daily active users, 510,000 comments, 293,000 statuses and 136,000 photos flow through Facebook every 60 seconds. Unfortunately, some of this web traffic is driven by terrorist propaganda, as terrorist organizations increasingly look to use social media to spread their violent messages to broader-reaching audiences. For Facebook, it is impossible to comb through the vast amount of data that flows through Facebook daily in order to vet terrorist content without the help of technology. Like other social media and internet platforms, Facebook is increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI) to assist analysts in identifying and blocking terrorist propaganda.
Last week on July 14, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) USA hosted an interesting and, unfortunately, once again, timely panel discussion entitled: “Content and Conduct: Countering Violent Extremism and Promoting Human Rights Online.” Courtney Radsch from the Committee to Protect Journalists ably moderated and asked pertinent questions throughout the conversation. Yolanda Rondon from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Matt Mitchell from Black Lives Matter provided a civil rights perspective. J.D. Maddox from the State Department described what the U.S. government is doing to combat online violent extremism abroad. I was on the panel to give SIIA’s view, which is informed by our diverse membership, which includes content and social media companies.
Rondon and Mitchell eloquently described the potential dangers and dilemmas faced by policymakers in determining how ...