Home ECONOMY Facebook's new extremism warning causes concern among conservatives

Facebook’s new extremism warning causes concern among conservatives

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A new Facebook feature warns users when they may be exposed to extremist content or if they know someone who is turning out to be an extremist – so it could target conservative voices and stifle free speech .

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

one of the following Hint asks users, “Are you worried that someone you know is becoming an extremist?”

“We care about preventing extremism on Facebook,” the sign continues. “Other people in your position have received confidential support.”

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

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

Both alerts also redirect users to a help page.

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone confirmed that the company is testing the signals as part of a broader approach to radicalization prevention.

“This test is part of our larger work to assess ways on Facebook to provide resources and support to people who are linked to or exposed to extremist content, or who are at risk,” Stone said.

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

Facebook said the test is part of its Redirect Initiative, which “helps tackle violent extremism and dangerous organizations by redirecting search terms related to hate and violence toward resources, education and outreach groups.” according to company.

“For example, when people search Facebook for terms related to white supremacy in the US, the 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 has partnered with organizations in the US, Australia, Germany, Indonesia and the UK to expand the Redirect Initiative.

However, many conservative figures quickly criticized the initiative, saying it could suppress free speech and target right-wing perspectives.

Nick Freitas, member of the Virginia House of Delegates, tweeted a picture Another of the alerts said, “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 like Which the ‘Thought Police’ doesn’t like.”

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

“Either they are a publisher and a political platform that is legally liable for every content they host, or they need to stay out of the way,” he wrote on Twitter. “Juck’s Choice.”

Conservative writer Erica Anderson also took a dig at the tech giant, Calling its initiative “concerned”.

“An extremist, nobody needs your help to define Facebook,” he said on Twitter.

Dan Gaynor, vice president of the Media Research Center, right-wing media watchdog, chime in too, adding that “warnings of #extremism from @Facebook are a sign of serious mental illness among those waking up.”

Ian Miles Cheong, a conservative Malaysian commentator known to weigh in on US politics, also raised concerns.

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

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