Facebook plans to combat terrorist propaganda with its own form of ‘counter speech’. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the social media network will attempt to discredit extremist content with posts, videos and images from its users, which counter the original propaganda. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg also appeared to endorse the idea and pointed to a case wherein a page for a neo-Nazi group was bombarded with ‘likes’ and nice comments. She said that a similar ‘like’ attack could hurt groups like the Islamic State.
According to the publication, a team lead by Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management met in December to plan ways to encourage counter speech through competitions. The company has already provided ad credits of up to $1,000 to counter speakers and has teamed up with the US State Department and Edventure Partners to encourage college students to create messages to counter terrorism. In a test last year, former members of right-wing and Islamist extremist groups to create fake accounts, and private messages would be sent to current members of those groups via those fake accounts. The messages prompted more and longer-lasting conversations than the researchers had expected.
Source: The Wall Street Journal