Facebook will warn users who may have seen extremist content

Facebook will warn users who may have seen extremist content

New alerts are part of the social network's recent campaign to tackle disinformation, hate content and conspiracy theories still circulating on Facebook

(photo: Unsplash) Facebook is testing new strategies to reach users who could radicalize on its platform after seeing extremist content. The social network confirmed that it is testing dedicated in-app messages to alert people who have seen content of this type and direct them to resources aimed at fighting online extremism.

CNN was the first to report these new indications after some screenshots were shared on Twitter in recent days. One type of message is aimed at people who may know someone who is falling into the trap of extremism. "Are you worried that someone you know is becoming an extremist?" , reads the warning prototype.

Another message seems to alert users that they may have seen extremist content on the platform. "Violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment," she says. "You can take action now to protect yourself and others," the message continues.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed, that these alerts "are part of our ongoing redirect initiative work" . The initiative would be part of a broader effort by Facebook to fight extremism on its platform by working with organizations like Life After Hate, which helps people quit violent far-right groups. Stone said the company is directing users at risk of radicalization to several resources that could help them, including Life After Hate.

It is unclear how Facebook is determining which users might be most affected by extremism, but the issue has become a hot topic for Facebook.

The platform has been the subject of many in recent years criticism for not taking sufficient steps to reduce extremist content on its platform. Facebook had done nothing until last summer to ban QAnon and other extremist groups, which in the meantime had greatly increased their following. In 2020, the company was also criticized for not closing the page of a militia group urging armed citizens to take to the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Facebook has also repeatedly promised to do its best to stop the flow of disinformation and conspiracy theories. The Social Media's Independent Supervisory Board in May called on the company to investigate the role its platform played in the January 6 uprising on Capitol Hill by Donald Trump's followers.

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