Study: Facebook’s ‘Suggested Friends’ Feature Helps Terrorists

Facebook has routinely introduced thousands of Islamic State fighters to each other and inadvertently expanded terrorist networks with its “suggested friends” feature, researchers say. A study conducted by the Counter Extremism Project analyzed the Facebook activity of 1,000 ISIS supporters in 96 countries and found that the social media giant’s efforts to “connect” users with common interests had actually helped the group’s recruiting efforts, The Telegraph reports.


Gregory Waters, one of the study’s authors, told The Telegraph he was inundated with suggestions for pro-ISIS friends after making contact with a single extremist. “The fact that Facebook’s own recommended friends algorithm is directly facilitating the spread of this terrorist group on its site is beyond unacceptable,” Waters was quoted as saying. Another researcher reportedly received dozens of similar friend suggestions after reading a news story about an Islamist uprising in the Philippines. The study also uncovered at least one case where a non-Muslim New York resident was apparently radicalized by an Indonesian ISIS supporter on the site. Read more at THE TELEGRAPH.



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