Facebook is notifying some users it believes have been exposed to “hateful extremist” posts as a part of an effort to mitigate such content. A man passes a Facebook screen at the Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press)
Facebook notifies some users of exposure to ‘harmful extremist content’
Mike Brest July 01, 05:01 PM July 01, 05:03 PM
Facebook is notifying some users it believes have been exposed to “hateful extremist” posts as a part of an effort to mitigate such content.
The function, developed as part of the company’s Redirect Initiative, was started this week and is only occurring for users in the United States at this time, a Facebook spokesperson told the Washington Examiner.
“This test is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content or may know someone who is at risk. We are partnering with NGOs and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The social media platform identifies users it believes have been exposed to content that violates its policies or those who have been the subject of prior enforcement. Facebook’s spokesperson did not respond to questions about the specific content that would warrant people to receive this notification.
The message they receive reads, “You may have been exposed to harmful extremist content recently. Violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment. You can take action now to protect yourself and others.”
The notification also provides users who receive it the opportunity to “get support” from experts, if they choose. If a user clicks that link, it directs them to Life After Hate, an organization founded by a former extremist. The resources are also available to people who want to intervene in others’ lives, the spokesperson said.
Facebook’s Redirect Initiative is designed to “help combat violent extremism and dangerous organizations by redirected hate and violence-related search terms toward resources, education, and outreach groups that can help.”
The group has called for governments worldwide and internet service providers to do more to “address the issue of terrorist and violent extremist content online and to prevent the abuse of the internet as occurred in and after the Christchurch attack.”
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