Facebook Confirms Test Program to Report ‘Extremist’ Friends
By Movieguide® Staff
Facebook confirmed that they are testing a program that would allow users to report “extremists” they see in their newsfeed.
“This test is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know someone who is at risk,” said a Facebook spokesperson in an emailed statement. “We are partnering with NGOs and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future.”
Screenshots shared on Twitter showed a notice asking “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” and another that alerted users “you may have been exposed to harmful extremist content recently.” Both included links to “get support.”
The world’s largest social media network has long been under pressure from lawmakers and civil rights groups to combat extremism on its platforms, including U.S. domestic movements involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot when groups supporting former President Donald Trump tried to stop the U.S. Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.
Facebook said the small test, which is only on its main platform, was running in the United States as a pilot for a global approach to prevent radicalization on the site.
The social media giant also includes a button marked, “How you can help. Hear stories and get advice from people who escaped violent extremist groups.”
The button is a link to the “support group” called Life After Hate. The site’s About page reveals what hateful ideology the group is fighting.
“Our Mission – Life After Hate is committed to helping people leave the violent far-right to connect humanity and lead compassionate lives,” the website reads.
“Our Programs – Our primary goal is to interrupt violence committed in the name of ideological or religious beliefs. We do this through education, interventions, academic research, and outreach,” the website continues.
Meanwhile, Facebook has not taken action against predators who allegedly used the social media platform to traffic children.
As Movieguide® previously reported, Facebook has maintained that their company is protected under Section 230, despite sex traffickers using their messaging system. Section 230 is an internet law that says online platforms are not responsible for third-party content posted on the service’s site.
This change in Facebook policy and ideology may lead to further discussion on the liberty of political opinion. It is important in these situations and developments to remind ourselves of the power of the Gospel, and the love and hope it gives.