Over the past several years, Facebook has seen an explosion of misinformation and potentially dangerous extremist content on its platform. Now, the social media giant is rolling out a new tool to stop the latter, warning users if they have potentially been exposed to extremist content — and asking them if they’re worried their friends are becoming extremists.
According to screenshots shared on Twitter, one of the warnings reads: “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist? We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support.” Another alert reads: “Violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment. You can take action now to protect yourself and others.” And both of these messages link to resources to help people become better informed.
For its part, Facebook says that these messages are just a test for now — though it seems as though they’re just the beginning of a bigger initiative.
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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We are partnering with NGOs and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future.”
In the grand scheme of Facebook, this is a pretty small change to make. However, any step the platform takes to curb dangerous content is a good thing.
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