July 31, 2022 | WaPo

Facebook’s structural struggle in flagging terrorist content in Kenya, African countries

Facebook is growing in Kenya and other African countries, but the platform’s content moderation policies seem to be struggling in keeping up.

ISD’s Executive Director for AMEA, Moustafa Ayad, spoke with the Washington Post about the findings from our two-year investigation into the online media ecosystem of al-Shabaab and the Islamic State in Africa. What we found was that these groups were openly posting terrorist content, false information and hate speech on the platform to groups and accounts with large followings. While these type of posts are banned, AI in languages other than English are lagging in learning to flag this type of content.

Moustafa said: “Reliance on AI was a core problem because bad actors have learned how to game the system. If the terrorists know the AI is looking for the word jihad, Ayad explained, they can “split up J.I.H.A.D with periods in between the letters, so now it is not being read properly by the AI system”.

The report is available here.

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