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Facebook Prompts Users if They Know Any Friend Becoming ‘extremist’ Online

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Some Facebook users in the US are being served a prompt that asks if they are worried that someone they know might be becoming an extremist via suspicious online posts or activities, as the social network aims to tackle extremism on its platform.

Other users are being notified that they may have been exposed to extremist content.

It is part of a test the social media company is running that stems from its ‘Redirect Initiative’, which aims to combat violent extremism, Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, told CNN.

“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 was quoted as saying in the report on Thursday.

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

One of the alerts, a screengrab of which made the rounds on social media, asks users, “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?”

“We care about preventing extremism on Facebook,” explained that alert, according to a screengrab posted on social media.

“Others in your situation have received confidential support.”

The alert then redirects the user to a support page.

“Violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment,” another alert reads.

“You can take action now to protect yourself and others.”

That alert also redirects the user to a support page.

The Facebook spokesperson said the company is directing users to a variety of resources, including Life After Hate, an advocacy group that helps people leave violent far-right movements.


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