Amber Rudd, Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, was briefed about Facebook’s counter terrorism efforts by their Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. The meeting between the two has been termed as “constructive”.
Recent Terror Attacks behind Cautious Move
After a slew of terrorist attacks hit the UK over the past month or so, the government has blamed social media companies such as Facebook for not taking enough measures in preventing the recruitment and propaganda of terrorist activities through online platforms such as these. In a move to strengthen the monitoring of technology companies, Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, lobbied European allies and the Group of Seven nations, mandating that they eliminate any and all content pertaining to terrorism and take measures to prevent such content from being posted on their websites in the first place.
Facebook Looking to Discourage Extremist Activities through Counter Narratives
In response to the meeting with the UK government, Facebook has launched a number of new initiatives, which includes the larger role of artificial intelligence in identifying as well as blocking terrorist content. Facebook is also recruiting a whopping 3,000 more employees to monitor posts that have been flagged by users on the grounds of extremism. This will be in addition to the existing 4,000 employees in charge of reviewing similar content worldwide.
In the briefing with Rudd, Sandberg stated that Facebook upped its involvement with counter narrative efforts, such as providing training as well as funding to various private groups that generate anti-extremist content. This content may include photo memes and viral videos via social media to undermine all forms of terrorist propaganda and to discourage individuals from becoming a part of various extremist groups. Facebook’s flagship counter narrative program for Europe – the Online Civil Courage Initiative – was unveiled by Sandberg on Friday.