Homepage / Technology / Facebook and Google can't keep extremists away, and Congress will be grilling them next week
Asian stocks set for subdued open after Nasdaq notches record close; trade concerns simmer GoodRx, a service for finding bargains on prescription drugs, is in sale talks for up to $3 billion The 4 fastest-growing job skills of the next three to five years: LinkedIn Saudi Arabia, Argentina to be part of MSCI emerging markets index Buffett, Bezos and Dimon's health-care pick is known as a thought leader, not a business leader Alexa goes to college: Northeastern is giving students Amazon Echo Dots Disney-Comcast bidding war for Fox will go up to $45 a share before Disney wins: media expert Tesla's alleged rogue employee is exactly what Congress is worried about with self-driving cars Former Citrix chief Mark Templeton takes over at cloud start-up DigitalOcean Apple makes a big push into kids' content with creators of Sesame Street A year later, what Uber has done to revamp its troubled image The United States just built the world's fastest supercomputer — here's what that means Instagram crosses 1 billion monthly active users, unveils long-form video Microsoft acquires Bonsai to help with its artificial intelligence push Stitch Fix shares pop on speculation of Oprah taking stake in the company The AT&T-Time Warner ruling is making the Murdoch family billions of dollars richer Here's why Google and Amazon probably will never be included in the Dow Chinese investment in the US drops 90% amid political pressure Tesla sues former employee for allegedly stealing gigabytes of data, making false claims to media Nasdaq CEO says ICOs are 'taking advantage' of retail investors JP Morgan is unleashing artificial intelligence on a business that moves $5 trillion for corporations every day This health tech start-up refused to take money from VC firms unless they had a female partner General Electric shareholders should rejoice at the Dow removal US existing home sales fall for second straight month Silicon Valley has an Achilles’ heel that threatens its supremacy in innovation Threatened by coalition partner, Merkel seeks to break migration deadlock China has an Iran oil lever over Trump and it's all playing out at OPEC meeting How tech companies conquered America's cities Nantucket home prices break record highs Oracle reduced visibility into its cloud business, and some analysts aren't happy Buffett, Bezos, Dimon appoint Dr. Atul Gawande as CEO of their newly formed health care company AMC will offer its own MoviePass-like subscription AT&T Advertising CEO: We need to buy more technology to make ads less obtrusive and more relevant Buy beaten-down Citi shares ahead of stress test results and earnings, Deutsche Bank says Disability applications plunge as the economy strengthens A ‘day of reckoning’ is coming for stocks. Here’s what could spark it, says market watcher Disney raises bid for Fox assets to $71.3 billion in cash and stock Morgan Stanley downgrades Starbucks due to its China sales growth stumble Trump wages trade conflicts during historically difficult time for the stock market A cruel summer for stocks is likely upon us, Federated's Phil Orlando warns OPEC set for a collision course over production policy ahead of landmark meeting Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: WGO, GE, FDX, ORCL, SBUX & more GE shares drop after the blue chip gets booted from the Dow, ending a 110-year run EU to hit $3.2 billion of US imports starting Friday in response to Trump's tariffs Mortgage applications jump 5.1% as interest rates settle Kroger, on a 'wild ride' in the last year, reports earnings this week. Here's how to play it Hopes are rising of a breakthrough in one of Africa's longest conflicts Bitcoin is 'not for me' but it's too 'arrogant' to say it won't have a future, Goldman Sachs CEO says High oil prices are a massive headache for India as economy gets 'pinched' The ECB has lost its independence in the wake of the debt crisis, a former member claims The ‘crypto sculpture’ and how hyped things have become Asian economies have a lot to lose in a US-China trade war CEO explains why his Australian company just announced 8,000 job cuts European stocks seen higher amid rising trade war fears; OPEC in focus White House says China's 'economic aggression' is a global threat The inspiration for tech titan Jack Ma's Alibaba was an unlikely politician Microsoft's Nadella: Trump administration policy separating children from families is 'abhorrent' A major cryptocurrency exchange says it was hacked and $30 million in coins was stolen Canada approves recreational use of marijuana Lapses at many levels of bank led to India's huge PNB fraud, internal report shows Australia's largest telco says it will cut 8,000 jobs over the next three years China-based hacking campaign is said to have breached satellite, defense companies Kim Jong Un and China's Xi discuss 'a new future,' North Korean media says Worst isn't over for General Electric, predicts ex-GE transportation CEO Asian shares set for mixed open after trade fears spook markets worldwide Cramer: Tesla's stock still has more upside—just use the right chart Cramer points to the trillion-dollar question about US-China trade: What about Apple? Elon Musk: If I can help kids at the border, I will SNAP CEO on Innovation and Imitation Oracle reports strong fourth quarter results and stock edges up Start-up that uses polymer science to make avocados last longer just scored a deal with Costco Here's a map of every Whole Foods where you'll get an Amazon Prime discount The CEO of agency giant IPG welcomes challengers to Facebook and Google: 'The more the merrier' Traders bet one soaring tech stock is about to lose steam Facebook takes another shot at grabbing social media stars from YouTube UK says it is happy with Rupert Murdoch's Sky News commitments related to bid for parent company Apple CEO Tim Cook says separating immigrant children at US border is 'inhumane' In the short history of Trump trade conflicts, it has paid to buy the market dip Danny Meyer stands by cashless push: 'We're unaware of any federal law' that requires accepting cash Express Scripts boots another online pharmacy — CareZone — from its network Home Depot and two other Dow stocks look ripe for a buy, says technician Snap shares plunge after analyst says users are less engaged White House's Navarro on China trade talks: No knowledge of Apple iPhone exemption Merkel, Macron agree on euro zone budget Walgreens and Humana are partnering to create senior health hubs Sarepta Therapeutics shares soar 50% on positive preliminary results for muscular dystrophy gene therapy Verizon pledges to stop some selling of phone-location data There's one Dow stock having a great day: Verizon Europe's IPO market heats up, and unicorns are getting in line Amazon wants a hand in all your deliveries, unveils last-step option for FedEx, UPS and private mail Soybean prices drop to two-year low on US-China trade war fears Cramer: US-China trade fight 'is not serious' right now; Trump has upper hand China has a limited number of weapons to use in a trade war with the US Laws governing medical marijuana could soon be relaxed in the UK The flip phone is about to make a big comeback as foldable screen nears reality Here is what a student could have made if they invested their 2014 summer earnings in FANG stocks VW names interim Audi boss, seeking to steady brand after its CEO's arrest Here’s the fundamental error in Trump’s trade strategy Chip stocks dive on trade war fears as industry gets a majority of its revenue from China New home construction booms to a near 11-year high in May


Facebook and Google can't keep extremists away, and Congress will be grilling them next week

Even as executives from Google and Facebook prepare to testify in front of the Senate on how they’re combating extremist content, the internet giants are struggling to keep it off their sites.

Dozens of accounts on sites owned by those two companies have been used this week to promote violent attacks and recruit people to the cause of Islamic terrorism, a CNBC investigation has found.

All of the content that was brought to the attention of Google and Facebook by CNBC was removed within 24 hours of notification. Yet many of the posts and videos, which contained graphic images and threats of violence, had been online for days or weeks before we alerted them to it.

Its presence on their pages underscores the enormous challenge these internet firms have in controlling content while remaining open platforms.

“Terrorists are using Google and Facebook technology to run what are essentially sophisticated social media marketing campaigns,” said Eric Feinberg, co-founder of the Global Intellectual Property Enforcement Center, or GIPEC, which tracks extremist content online.

Extremist groups are using their tools the way brand advertisers and other online marketers do, cross-promoting videos on one account with posts on other social media services.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are sending representatives to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning to testify in front of the Senate Commerce Committee in a hearing titled “Terrorism and Social Media: #IsBigTechDoingEnough?”

CNBC initially discovered some of the violent videos and posts while reporting an earlier story on Facebook users who had been locked out of their accounts by hackers.

After that story was published, CNBC reported its findings to counter-terrorism officials at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco, because some of the content appeared to include coded messages about potential attacks over the Christmas holiday.

The office acknowledged receipt of our e-mail and said it couldn’t comment further.

We then contacted GIPEC, a cyber-intelligence firm whose patented software finds social media activity produced by criminals and terrorists, and asked Feinberg if the group could locate more violent and extremist content.

“There’s plenty out there if you know how to look for it,” said Feinberg, who previously ran an online marketing and ad-tech firm based in New York. “These companies are playing whack-a-mole” in their fight against extremism, he said.

Many of the Facebook accounts used to promote terrorist-related content appeared to have been taken over by hackers — similar to those accounts in our prior story.

For example, they showed images of war-ravaged cities in the Middle East, or had flags from countries in the region, even though the profile page indicated the user was from a faraway place like Mexico or Brazil.

The pages also contained recent posts in Arabic while earlier posts on the profile had been exclusively in English or Spanish.

One page provided instructions for turning an empty soda bottle into an improvised explosive device (IED) like those used to kill and maim U.S. soldiers during conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to Google’s online translation service, the Arabic text reads:

“An empty plastic box containing 15 yeast bags + 100 small size sharp nails. When the yeast is brewed after exposure to the sun, it will explode and the nails will spread splinters on the infidels. In the parks of the worshipers of the Cross.”

Using Facebook’s online reporting system, Feinberg notified the company of the page on Jan. 10, and it was soon removed.

Another page (which hasn’t been reported) contains Islamist propaganda, including texts of speeches from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq who was killed by a U.S. airstrike in 2006. It’s been up since at least Dec. 26.

Of the six profiles CNBC reported to Facebook on Wednesday afternoon, all were removed within a day.

In response to a request for comment as to why the pages hadn’t been removed earlier, a Facebook spokesperson referred us to a November blog post titled, “Are we winning the war on terrorism online,” from Monika Bickert, the company’s global head of policy management.

“99% of the ISIS and Al Qaeda-related terror content we remove from Facebook is content we detect before anyone in our community has flagged it to us, and in some cases, before it goes live on the site,” the post said. “Once we are aware of a piece of terror content, we remove 83% of subsequently uploaded copies within one hour of upload.”

Bickert is scheduled to appear before the Senate on Wednesday, alongside Juniper Downs, YouTube’s global head of public policy and government relations, and Carlos Monje, Twitter’s director of public policy and philanthropy.

GIPEC found similar material on YouTube and Google Plus.

One post, which violated Google’s terms of service, pointed to videos made by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American of Yemeni descent who allegedly planned terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia before being killed by a drone strike in 2011.

A YouTube spokesperson told CNBC that the company updated its rules last year to ban all content either promoted by or relating to individuals, including al-Awlaki, known to be members of the U.S. Department of State’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

YouTube published a blog post in December, saying that “98 percent of the videos we remove for violent extremism are flagged by our machine-learning algorithms” and that 70 percent is removed within eight hours of being uploaded.

YouTube removed more than 150,000 videos for “violent extremism” between June and December of last year. The company sent CNBC the following statement:

“In June of last year we announced steps we are taking to combat violent extremism on YouTube, including better detection and faster removal of content, more expert partners to help identify content, and tougher standards. We’ve made progress with these efforts, with machine learning technology flagging content to help our reviewers remove nearly five times as many videos as they previously could. We’re continuing to invest heavily in people, technology and strict policies to remove this content quickly.”

While all six accounts we reported to Google were removed within 24 hours, other pages on the site still include terrorist propaganda.

Source: Tech CNBC
Facebook and Google can't keep extremists away, and Congress will be grilling them next week

Comments are closed.