How Social Media and AI Help Fight Terrorism

Even though there have been accusations that social media is ground for terrorism and recruiting mecca, the companies are fighting back

To get their message sent, terrorists used bombs, machetes, and bullets. While this is still the case, modern days have also taken terrorism to a new level. Terrorists can, unfortunately, hack, promote their cause, and even recruit members through the use of social media.

Governments are aware of the situation and had started putting a lot of pressure on companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft. Firms have been asked to increase their security and police undesirable content.

The big volume of data and the differences and complexity of local laws have made it very difficult for these companies to manage the situation. However, recent advances in artificial intelligence are here to help, producing surprisingly effective results.

For example, Facebook revealed that new AI algorithms that are based on image recognition are assisting the Herculean chore. One tool has been set up to scan the site for images and live videos containing terrorist propaganda, and to remove them without the use of a human moderator.

Another system has been also trained to identify accounts that were set by terrorists, and prevent them from setting up new ones. Furthermore, there is also an algorithm that helps identify posts which are related to terror. Once content is identified and removed, the system remembers the data and consistently scans the site and identifies attempts to repost it.

Twitter has been using similar tools based on artificial intelligence to take out terrorist content. Statistics from the company show that these methods flagged 74% of the nearly 377,000 accounts it removed between July and December 2016.

This comes after companies have allied to create a database of the worst content, to prevent it from being reposted on any of the sites.