AI and online extremism

AI and online extremism

September 26, 20191 min read

Responding to increased pressure, Facebook has "doubled down" on identifying and removing posts by online extremists and the groups they use to share content. 

As noted in a recent NBC News article, these increased efforts include using artificial intelligence and machine learning to proactively identify and remove posts and groups that break the rules, and promoting tools that would hold group administrators more accountable for posted content."

Megan Squire is a professor of computer science who has conducted extensive research tracking connections between online hate groups and how they leverage social media platforms to recruit new members and spread propaganda. 

Squire told NBC News that she's skeptical that even these more high-tech efforts will meaningfully curtail the activity of online extremists. 

“Same stuff, different day,” Squire told NBC News. “Just in the past month, I reported groups calling for a global purge of Islam, extermination of people based on religion, and calling for violence through a race war, and Facebook’s response was that none of these groups was a violation of community standards.”

If Dr. Squire can assist with your reporting about social media and online extremismplease reach out to Owen Covington, director of the Elon University News Bureau, at or (336) 278-7413. Dr. Squire is available for phone, email and broadcast interviews. 

Spotlight By Elon University

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