Facebook’s new extremism warning causes concern among conservatives

An eyebrow-raising new Facebook function warns customers once they might need been uncovered to extremist content material or in the event that they know somebody who’s turning into an extremist — prompting considerations it might goal conservative voices and stifle free speech.

Screenshots of the anti-extremism alerts circulated Thursday on social media.

One of the prompts asks users, “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?”

“We care about preventing extremism on Facebook,” the immediate goes on. “Others in your situation have received confidential support.”

A second alert learn, “You may have been exposed to harmful extremist content recently.”

“Violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment. You can take action now to protect yourself and others,” it continues.

Both of the alerts additionally redirect customers to a assist web page.

Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, confirmed that the corporate is testing the prompts as a part of a wider method to radicalization prevention.

“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,” Stone stated.

“We are partnering with NGOs and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future.”

Facebook stated the assessments are part of its Redirect Initiative, which “helps combat violent extremism and dangerous organizations by redirecting hate and violence-related search terms towards resources, education, and outreach groups,” according to the company.

“For example, when people search on Facebook for terms related to white supremacy in the US, results are directed to Life After Hate, an organization founded by former violent extremists that provides crisis intervention, education, support groups, and outreach.”

Facebook says it’s partnered with organizations within the US, Australia, Germany, Indonesia and the UK to increase the Redirect Initiative.

However, a number of conservative figures shortly criticized the initiative, saying it may suppress free speech and goal right-leaning views.

Nick Freitas, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, tweeted an image of one of many alerts and stated, “Yes…actually I have a real concern that some leftist technocrats are creating an Orwellian environment where people are being arbitrarily silenced or banned for saying something the ‘thought police’ doesn’t like.”

Writer and conservative commentator Alex Berenson additionally slammed Facebook over the warnings.

“Either they’re a publisher and a political platform legally liable for every bit of content they host, or they need to STAY OUT OF THE WAY,” he wrote on Twitter. “Zuck’s choice.”

Conservative author Ericka Andersen additionally hit out on the tech large, calling its initiative “concerning.”

“No one needs your help defining an extremist, Facebook,” she stated on Twitter.

Dan Gainor, vp at Media Research Center, a right-wing media watchdog, also chimed in, saying that “#Extremism warnings from @Facebook are a sign of severe mental illness among wokesters.”

Ian Miles Cheong, a conservative Malaysian commentator who’s change into identified for weighing in on US politics, raised considerations, too.

“Nice to see Facebook going full Stasi/NKVD. Learning from the former East Germans who now advise leftist ‘anti-extremist’ organizations,” he wrote on Twitter.

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