FACEBOOK has been accused of automatically creating a business page for al-Qaeda along with content for other extremist organisations.
An anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint about the top social media company to American regulators.
The social media giant had allegedly been “auto-generating” the extremist content which also included a celebratory jihadist video.
Other content for self-identified Nazis and white supremacists groups were also found online during the whistleblower’s monitoring.
On the local business page for al-Qeada that was generated by Facebook’s tools had 7,410 likes, with the complaint adding that it gave the group “valuable data” to use when recruiting people.
The company’s algorithms put job descriptions that users put on their profile and also copied branding, images and flags used by the group.
The study conducted by the whistleblower lasted for five months, where they monitored pages of 3,000 people who liked or connected to organisations listed as terrorist groups by the US government.
The study found that groups such as the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda were “openly” active on the social network. It also found that Facebook was creating fresh content for the groups automatically, by making “celebration” and “memories” videos.
This happened when pages racked up enough views or “likes” or had been active for a certain number of months.
It is the latest in a string of complaints about the way Facebook handles extremist content, after it was revealed that the alleged mastermind behind the Sri Lanka terror attacks, Hashim Mohamed Zahran, had been posting on the platform.
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The complaint alleges that Facebook has mislead its shareholders by telling them they have removed extremist content while letting it persist on the site.
In a statement, Facebook said: “After making heavy investments, we are detecting and removing terrorism content at a far higher success rate than even two years ago.
“We don’t claim to find everything and we remain vigilant in our efforts against terrorist groups around the world.”
Facebook accused of automatically creating a business page for al-Qaeda