Jun 25, 2018

How Facebook Helps ISIS for Expanding Its Terror Network

Image: How Facebook Helps ISIS for Expanding Its Terror Network

ISIS and other radical groups have built a sophisticated and effective online propaganda engine, exploiting many mainstream networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Telegram, WhatsApp, Diaspora and LinkedIn. Their efforts resemble a well-oiled marketing department, employing experts in PR and design to ensure a legitimate appearance. ISIS has mastered the art of making the voices of a few sounds like the voices of millions.

Nowadays social media has become our daily need for good morning, breakfast to lunch and dinner we post everything on facebook. It helps us to connect with our distant relatives and friends. On the other hand, they are taken into custody many times for being a tool of human exploitation. But this time it gets worse, as researchers found that the Facebook “suggested friends” feature helps extremists for spreading radicalism. The facebook groups become a meeting place for the thousands ISIS members.

In recent time Facebook is under surveillance for tracking people all the time even if they are not using Facebook. Using your data they find you most suitable ads, news, feeds, friend suggestions etc. It also helps the ISIS members to find each other based on their interest in extremism, radicalism and so on.

Counter Extremism Project will publish this report later in this month. Talking to The Telegraph, Gregory Waters, one of the chief authors of the report, describes the failure of Facebook to reduce the extremist content on its platform.

“This project has laid bare Facebook’s inability or unwillingness to efficiently address extremist content on their site,” Waters said.

A case of negligence

Even after identifying more than 1,000 ISIS-supporting facebook profiles, most of them are still remain active. In many cases facebook just remove their post after marking them as offending posts FB allows them to continue with their FB account. Looks like Facebook is concerned more with its user base rather than social safety.


Another incident took the storm when one British terror suspect was able to reinstate his account nine times even after being accused of sharing ISIS videos. From the opposite corner of the world, an Indonesian ISIS supporter turned a non-muslim from New York Facebook user into a radicalized Muslim supporting ISIS.

Facebook presented a counter argument by saying “We remove any content that praises or supports terrorism”. Take note that still there is no easy way to fight online spreading of radicalism with 100% accuracy. But, in future, we may see the AI removing fake news and rouge accounts. That’s why facebook expending a lot on AI. In the ongoing F8 conference they are emphasizing on making Facebook more secure with the help of AI.

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