Dear Facebook, thanks for the "Safety-Check", but on fighting ISIS, you can do much better!

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Dear Facebook, thanks for the "Safety-Check", but on fighting ISIS, you can do much better!

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Lancée par Julie GUILBAULT

This petition has arisen from the attacks in Paris, and more specifically from a cyber-hunt (both useful and useless) for the sick jihadi accounts, which can be found in social networks. This petition is addressed more specifically to Facebook.

I spent part of the week following the Paris attacks, as did many others, flagging the accounts that violently flooded #rechercheParis (the hashtag French families used to search for their loved ones) and all of the other peace hashtags.

Every 5 minutes, ISIS bot accounts sent the statement claiming responsibility for the attacks, along with links to pro ISIS accounts with a bloody picture of the Bataclan massacre, as their header image. As for the messages’ content, they sneered at us, gave praise to their « brave lions » (the suicide bombers), kept threatening us and posting jihadi propaganda videos.

This content was just one click away from me and anybody: so, easily accessible by my young nieces as well. It can be seen by all of the youth throughout the world.

Twitter, Facebook and the Government could not react quickly. Reports were pouring in and it seemed like it would take too long to sort them out and delete the suspicious accounts. They were confronted to the urgency of the moment.

But it took less than two hours to Facebook to set up the « Safety Check », a feature that allowed Parisians to notify their friends and family, that they were safe and alive.

Less than twelve hours later, Facebook asked its users if they wanted to color their profile picture in blue, white and red, like the French flag, but could come up with no ambitious tool or a serious plan to fight propaganda whatsoever.

An ISIS account sent me this message on Twitter: “it takes two minutes to create an account”.

That’s right: it takes two minutes to create a toxic jihadi account, and more than three days to get it deleted. The Islamic State’s propaganda can widely spread on these networks, because of their strong and efficient communication skills.

When an Art lover posted « The Origin of the World » by Gustave Courbet on Facebook, unsurprisingly, the ingenious porn-detection algorithm found it immediately.

But, when it comes to advocating terrorism and publishing decapitation videos: no worries, they enjoy a comfortable delay before the content or their account will be deleted.

This “moderation” policy is patently absurd!

Facebook, you cannot just assume that you are responsible for technology alone. You need to recognize that you are also responsible for those who are using your technology to incite hatred.

Don’t let ISIS use the beautiful tools you give the world, to spill blood.

Today, you have more influence on your billions of users’ lives than governments. You have the technological power to act fast, change algorithms and train your moderation teams, so that they are up to the challenge we are facing.

This is a delicate matter since it has to do with Web neutrality and its operatives. And I certainly don’t pretend I have the technical, legal or ethical implications figured out. I am just a digital citizen who trusts those who are specialized in these aspects.

The debate about jihadi propaganda on the Internet is growing among politicians, journalists, professors...

I also rely on you, citizens of the digital world. Whether you are an intellectual, an artist, a lawyer, a parent, a politician, a professor, a digital entrepreneur, a teacher, a journalist or just a Facebook user: take a stand today and sign this petition in order to start a worldwide debate around this question.

You can demand that Facebook and the social networks do more than just a « safety check » and a French flag. If they truly are against terrorism, they must take a stand so that things can change.

Let Facebook’s people know: they must produce the tools to help fight ISIS online, and

Yes, Facebook, you can!

Illustration : Matthieu Meron for rue89

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