Want to join ISIS? Just use Facebook

In a statement made earlier this year, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged that ISIS is using Facebook for its recruitment and broadcast efforts. In an experiment done with the NPD, the neo-Nazi party, people who did not actually like the neo-Nazis and what they stood for Liked the Facebook page for the NPD and instead used it to share messages of tolerance and peace, overrunning the page’s general statements of supremacy and hate.

As Sandberg suggested:

The best thing to speak against recruitment by ISIS are the voices of people who were recruited by ISIS, understand what the true experience is, have escaped and come back to tell the truth. Amplifying those voices — counter-speech to the speech that is perpetrating hate — we think is by far the best answer.

Well, that’s nice. While Facebook is a platform for all, does anyone think this acknowledgment of ISIS activities on the social network as being potentially problematic? Facebook knows the true members of ISIS–most of us don’t. Facebook likely is able to know when attacks are to happen through monitoring of messages, private and public. (Heck, if we went off on a tangent, would Facebook be able to stop other atrocities and tragedies, inclusive of murder rampages and suicides? They have such a wealth of information at their fingertips and could really do more to make the world better.)

With all Facebook knows, why isn’t Facebook doing more of its part–instead of forcing us to do ours? Why not stop it, report it, and follow through the network of counter-terrorism agencies throughout the world versus requiring us to blindly Like–which doesn’t ever do anything? (Come on, you don’t think a little thumbs up really will stop ISIS from doing what they support? If anything, that will empower them to do more out of anger. Think about it this way: if my bad activities are energizing the world, would I do more of it or less of it? If I crave more than 15 minutes of fame, I’ll keep at it for sure.)

Really, we’re dealing with a network that handles this on a regular basis. There is a cute “Report Post” option, but add a “Hate” option, or better yet, a “Report to Authorities” or how about “This is a Terrorist!”


“The best antidote to hate is tolerance,” said no one ever Sandberg.

Right?! Until we’re all dead.

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