Press Releases

Social Media Companies are Failing on Counterterrorism: Rose Rails on Facebook Creating and Promoting Terrorist Content

Congressman: ‘But what is even more striking, is before coming to speak on the House floor today, I checked and this profile is still up there!’

Washington, June 4, 2019

Video of Rose’s floor speech HERE.

Congressman Max Rose, chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, called out social media companies for failing to combat the spread of terrorism on their platforms and highlighted autogenerated Facebook pages, including one of an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist organization that remains active weeks after first being reported by the Associated Press.

“In fact, instead of preventing terrorist content from spreading on their platform, as reported by the Associated Press, recently Facebook has been making videos and promoting terrorist content on its own system,” said Rose in a speech on the House floor. “For instance, an Al Qaeda -linked terrorist group has an autogenerated Facebook page that has nearly 4,500 likes. This case was profiled in the AP story and serves as yet another glaring example of Facebook’s inability to police itself. But what is even more striking, is before coming to speak on the House floor today, I checked and this profile is still up there! This profile that the AP reported to Facebook is still up there.”

The Associated Press report that alleges Facebook has exaggerated its success at removing terrorist and extremist content from its platform, and in some cases, has even autogenerated videos and pages that promote the extremist groups.

Rose continued, “Facebook does not care right now about our own safety. They’re putting their own profit before the safety and national security of this very country. I push for aggressive action here. We need a strong public-private partnership, and Facebook has got to come to its senses. Today it is so important.”

Rose previously called on the top social media companies to provide information on their annual budgets for counterterrorism related programs, and blasted unsatisfactory responses from the companies. Additionally, Rose called on social media companies to work more closely with law enforcement to prevent the spread of terrorist content on their platforms.

Terrorist groups have used social media in sophisticated ways to spread their ideologies and recruit new members across the world. From the rise and spread of ISIS, to the recent attack in Christchurch, New Zealand which was livestreamed live on Facebook, serious questions remain as to how and what the companies are doing to combat the spread of terrorism and extremism.

Full text of Rose’s speech on the House floor today:

Thank you Madam Speaker.

I rise today because not nearly enough is being done by our social media companies to take down terrorist content from their platforms.

It has been months now since the Christchurch massacre, which was streamed on Facebook because its Artificial Intelligence, or AI, was not able or capable of taking it down quick enough. Now that video was then uploaded and re-uploaded hundreds of thousands of times.

In fact, instead of preventing terrorist content from spreading on their platform, as reported by the Associated Press, recently Facebook has been making videos and promoting terrorist content on its own system.

For instance, an Al Qaeda -linked terrorist group has an autogenerated Facebook page that has nearly 4,500 likes. This case was profiled in the AP story and serves as yet another glaring example of Facebook’s inability to police itself.

But what is even more striking, is before coming to speak on the House floor today, I checked and this profile is still up there! This profile that the AP reported to Facebook is still up there.

Facebook does not care right now about our own safety. They’re putting their own profit before the safety and national security of this very country.

I push for aggressive action here. We need a strong public-private partnership, and Facebook has got to come to its senses. Today it is so important.

Thank you and I yield my time.

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