Feb 27, 2018

Facebook Messenger used to fight extremism

Facebook Messenger has been used to try to deradicalise extremists in a pilot project funded entirely by the company. It told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme and BBC World Service's World Hacks it used software to scan several far-right and Islamist pages on Facebook for targets. Under a fake profile, he spoke to people who appeared to support Islamist extremism, including some who may support the Tunisia gunman, and was tasked with challenging their views with chatty conversation and questions. Privacy campaigners are concerned about the project, especially that Facebook funded something that broke its own rules by creating fake profiles. Its public policy manager, Karim Palant, said the company does not allow the creation of fake profiles - which the project relied on - and said that the research was done without Facebook interference.

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