The Epoch Times
Facebook Now Sending Messages to Some Users Asking About Potentially ‘Extremist’ Friends
BY JACK PHILLIPS July 1, 2021 Updated: July 1, 2021
Some Facebook users have recently reported being sent warning messages from the social media giant relating to “extremists” or “extremist content.”
“Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” one message reads. “We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support.”
The message also provides a button to “Get Support,” which leads to another Facebook page about extremism.
Redstate editor Kira Davis, who said was sent a screenshot of the message from a friend, wrote: “Hey has anyone had this message pop up on their FB? My friend (who is not an ideologue but hosts lots of competing chatter) got this message twice. He’s very disturbed.”
And others reported getting a warning that they may have been “exposed to harmful extremist content recently.” The message then states that “violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment,” similarly offering a “Get Support” option.
“Facebook randomly sent me this notice about extremism when I clicked over to the app. Pretty weird. … The Get Support button just goes to a short article asking people not to be hateful,” another user on Twitter wrote.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to The Epoch Times on July 1 that the company is currently running the warnings as a test to some users.
“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. We are partnering with NGOs and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future,” the spokesperson said, without elaborating.
July 1 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) is starting to warn some users they might have seen “extremist content” on the social media site, the company said on Thursday.
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.
“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.”
It said the efforts were part of its commitment to the Christchurch Call to Action, a campaign involving major tech platforms to counter violent extremist content online that was launched following a 2019 attack in New Zealand that was live-streamed on Facebook.
Facebook said in the test it was identifying both users who may have been exposed to rule-breaking extremist content and users who had previously been the subject of Facebook’s enforcement.