Facebook’s efforts to combat extremism remain at odds with engagement goals. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before Congress today, and he may have a few more uncomfortable questions to answer. Among them, why is Facebook autogenerating pages for white supremacist groups? Researchers at the Tech Transparency Project found that Facebook created dozens of pages for groups like the “Universal Aryan Brotherhood Movement” when a user did something as simple as listing it as their employer. Some of the autogenerated pages garnered thousands of likes by the time they were discovered by researchers. TTP also discovered four Facebook groups that had been created by users. The researchers shared their findings with Facebook, which removed most of the pages. Yet, two of the autogenerated pages and all four Facebook groups remained active when the group published its findings. Facebook reportedly banned “white nationalist” content following the 2019 mass shooting at a New Zealand mosque, expanding on an earlier ban of white supremacist content. 
It wasn’t hard for the researchers to find offending pages and groups. They simply searched Facebook for the names of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups identified by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. More than half of the groups in their query of 221 names returned results. A total of 113 white supremacist organizations and groups had a presence on Facebook, sometimes more than one. One user-generated page that has been active for over a decade had 42,000 likes. Ten other pages and one group had more than 1,000 likes each. Much of Facebook’s moderation system relies on artificial intelligence to flag potential violations for human moderators, a system that appears to be easily thwarted. Simple misspellings of words—whether by adding vowels or using $ in place of S, for example—have been enough to foil algorithmic moderation.  Facebook’s own user-interfacing algorithms have also been coming up short. TTP found that on a page for an organization called the “Nazi Low Riders,” Facebook recommended that users also like a page for the “Aryanbrotherhood.”  The company’s tactic for combatting rising extremism on the site also appears to be failing. Searches for known hate groups are supposed to direct users to the page for Life After Hate, a nonprofit group that seeks to deradicalize right-wing extremists. But that only worked in 14 of the 221 searches the researchers performed.

via arstechnica: Facebook has been autogenerating pages for white supremacists

Categories: InternetKameradschaft