Facebook Inquires About Your 'Extremist' Friends

Jul 9, 2021

If you’re a Facebook user, you may have received a warning recently about “extremist content.”

“Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” one such message reads. “We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support.”

One Facebook message encourages the user to “Get Support” and offers this invitation: “Hear stories and get advice from people who escaped violent extremist groups.”

The social media giant ran a pilot test in the U.S. only on its main platform. Facebook’s concern is to prevent radicalization on its site.

"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," a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "We are partnering with NGOs and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future."

Former President Trump is suing Facebook, Twitter and Google for banning his accounts in what he believes is a violation of his First Amendment right to free speech. Facebook and Twitter barred Trump from their sites after the Jan. 6 intrusion of the Capitol.

After receiving the “extremist” message from Facebook, many users took to Twitter on July 1 to share screenshots of the warnings and express their concern about Facebook and its messaging.

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