As the largest social media platform in the world, Facebook has found itself locked in a never-ending struggle to find and delete harmful or offensive content on its pages. Even content from terrorists. According to Facebook, it has removed about 14 million pieces of terrorist content this year alone—and the number keeps climbing.
According to Facebook, terrorists have grown more sophisticated at spreading their message across the platform as Facebook gets better at detecting it. One ISIS backer told his fellow terrorists that they should try to acquire legitimate hacked accounts to spread their message, while others have created code languages or posted their content in bits and pieces to avoid detection.
And while Facebook has removed these posts in massive numbers, the company admits that the problem that will never completely go away.
“We should not view this as a problem that can be ‘solved’ and set aside, even in the most optimistic scenarios,” Facebook wrote in a blog post. “We can reduce the presence of terrorism on mainstream social platforms, but eliminating it completely requires addressing the people and organizations that generate this material in the real-world.”
Facebook may not have volunteered for its role as the Internet’s content police, but that’s exactly where it’s ended up—and too often the company is not up to the task.