Facebook pledged to become a “hostile environment” for terrorists after UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticized the site following a terrorist attack in London over the weekend.
In a speech on Sunday, May called on big tech companies like Facebook to do more to fight terrorism, harshly criticizing these platforms for giving extremism a “safe space” to breed. For its part, Facebook defended its practices while also promising to continue its effort to remove all terrorism from its pages.
“Using a combination of technology and human review, we work aggressively to remove terrorist content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it,” Facebook director of policy Simon Milner said in a statement. “If we become aware of an emergency involving imminent harm to someone’s safety, we notify law enforcement.”
Some experts weighed in to defend Facebook, noting that it’s impossible to provide law enforcement agencies with a bypass around encryptions without weakening security for all. Security consultant Brian Honan told CNBC that Facebook also faces a challenge in discerning between free speech and radicalization content. Still, he said, the site needs to do a better job cooperating with officials.
“There has to be a greater basis for cooperation between private firms whose ultimate goal is to make a profit and those charged with protecting us,” Honan said.