It looks like we have an explanation for those bizarre notifications from Facebook suggesting you should report on your friends and neighbors who you suspect are “radicalized.” those strange notifications, which we reported on July 1st, seemed random and unique. We now think it may be part of a coordinated effort.
Facebook has ushered in a new level of Big Brother monitoring today that promises to help users avoid becoming radical extremists. https://t.co/Gqs6f4e2jg
— Accuracy In Media (@AccuracyInMedia) July 7, 2021
Last week, we told you that Facebook was generating notification pop-ups that warned users that friends and family may have been exposed to extreme content and offered to get them “help” if the user just reported on them.
“We care about preventing extremism on Facebook,” said one notice. “Others in your situation have received confidential support”
Another said: “Violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment. You can take action now to protect yourself and others.”
Facebook wouldn’t comment on the notifications.
The Biden administration had previously revealed that as a part of their efforts to deal with so-called domestic terrorism, they’d be encouraging the “see something, say something” campaign that was used to report on Islamic terrorists in the U.S. previously.
“This involves creating contexts in which those who are family members or friends or co-workers know that there are pathways and avenues to raise concerns and seek help for those who they have perceived to be radicalizing and potentially radicalizing towards violence,” said senior administration officials told a press briefing on June 14th when announcing their national strategy on domestic terror.
And it appears that one of the “contexts” which the administration created was for Facebook users who logged on to their accounts at the beginning of July.
In fact, the Biden administration all but admitted as much in their briefing.
“So, there are a number of ways in which we’re trying to augment our efforts to get at that challenge,” said one Biden administration official. “One is by enhancing, augmenting the information-sharing the government does with tech companies so as to facilitate their more assertive voluntary enforcement of their terms of service on their platforms to protect other users from those who might pose threats of violence.”
The official added that the government and big tech companies already had a process by which they share information with companies like Facebook to identify people who may have been “radicalized”.
The problem of course is that the people who define just exactly what “radicalization” means are largely progressive Democrats.
In February, radical Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Facebook warning that “Facebook has become a breeding ground for polarization and discord” and demanding the company produces certain documents for the committee.
One of the Democrats was Representative Jan Schakowsky (D–Illinois) whose political beliefs lay somewhat left of Bernie Sanders and has strong ties to the Democratic Socialists of America.
“This deadly attack on the Capitol laid bare the dire consequences of hyperpolarization and extremism in our current political discourse—much of which is occurring on your platform. With more than 3 billion monthly users across different services, Facebook must play a leading role in lessening the divide and lowering the temperature,” the letter warned.
Facebook it seems apparently got the message.
And those “turn-in-your-neighbor” notifications appear to be their reply.