As the largest social media platform in the world, it makes sense that Facebook would be taken advantage of by bad actors to scam innocent people and spread harmful content. However, there is perhaps no more serious international crime than terrorism, and according to a recent report, it may be hiding in plain site on Facebook. A London-based think tank recently published a study claiming that ISIS terrorists have been able to successfully evade Facebook’s detection systems to create a network linking hundreds of accounts.
According to the report, ISIS members hijack users’ accounts, mix their content with material from real news outlets, use strange punctuation, and blur their logos and photos. All of this helps these accounts avoid Facebook’s content moderation systems.
“The tactics we outline in our report are shifting as we speak,” the report’s author Moustafa Ayad said. “Without a clear understanding of these networks, and their behaviors, responses reliant on takedowns do little to quell ISIS-support expansion across our primary platforms.”
Thankfully, Facebook says that it has already acted to remove all of these accounts. But if they hadn’t been found by reporters, it’s unclear if the company would’ve known about them at all. All of this is just further proof that Facebook is in a no-win situation when it comes to content moderation.
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