While Facebook has banned mainstream right-wing websites whose content it deemed unacceptable, an anonymous whistle blower documented how the social media giant was generating “memories” and video celebrations for terror groups and other extremists.
A report by 9News.com out of Australia quoted a five-month study of more than 3,000 active accounts. The study found that Facebook artificial intelligence algorithms were creating this content for active users, including al-Qaeda, white supremacist groups and self-identified Nazis.
“A business page generated by Facebook for al-Qaeda received over 4400 ‘likes’ and provided the group with ‘valuable data’ to use when recruiting new followers, according to the complaint, ” wrote the news outlet.
The confidential complainant was supported by the National Whistleblower Center, an NGO (non-governmental organization) that provides legal assistance and other support to whistle blowers. The center filed a complaint for the whistle blower with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Meanwhile on Facebook, a burgeoning business of selling ancient artifacts looted by ISIS has emerged, according to researchers.
There are at least 90 Facebook groups in which tens of thousands of followers participate that are linked to this illegal trade, said Amr Al-Azm, a professor of who teaches Middle East history and anthropology at Shawnee State University in Ohio.
These groups began to flourish during the Syrian civil war and the ascension of ISIS into the conflict, At the same time, social media companies made it easier to do business on their sites, Al-Azm noted. Once contact has been made between a buyer and seller, the discussion is usually taken offline into secured chat spaces or WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging app, making tracking of these sales all but impossible.