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Facebook Confirms Its Asking People to Report "Extremists"

Craig Peterson - America's Leading CyberSecurity Coach

Release Date: 07/16/2021

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Facebook Confirms Its Asking People to Report "Extremists"

Reporting on your neighbors is something you would expect from a socialist government, right? A communist government, a fascist government, any form of socialist government. Now Facebook is doing exactly that and it's going to interfere with our lives.

Facebook has now confirmed what it's calling a test of its "do-you-know" an extremist prompt and that's got me really rather worried.

And it has a lot of other people worried as well. I was talking to a friend of mine who was also in the media biz, who was saying just over the last couple of weeks. He's received this a bunch of times. And I mentioned this to another friend of mine who is not in the media business. And he said that he got it as well.

[00:00:48] And he said his was: are YOU an extremist? Which I think is interesting. First of all, extremist is not defined. And of course, with these people who are monitoring accounts on Facebook, announce where their definition of extremist is going to be. The definition of an extremist by the government going to very political parties is going to Berry very, and we're talking about this anti-extremist promt, not just asking you if you are an extremist, like my friend said he got, but it's asking if you know someone else who is an extremist or who may become an extremist.

[00:01:28] That is absolutely amazing to me. Amazing. It's bad enough that the government has picked winners. It has this whole section to 10, you've heard about before in the FCC rules that says we know if you're Facebook or Google, no one can Sue you for anything that you do. That is absolutely insane as far as I'm concerned, but there will be lawsuits on this they're already been filed.

[00:01:58] Why would Facebook block thought that it didn't think was appropriate? The whole idea behind the first amendment? Isn't just that it applies to the federal government. It is a code of conduct for all of us. It's a code of conduct for these massive multimedia platforms. We should be allowing all kinds of speech and we should not allow people to hide because what they've done now is they've moved to other platforms.

[00:02:29] The don't do this kind of monitoring and they are current carrying on their speed. If someone comes out and says something that is racist, that is violent, that is, is threatening to commit a crime. We know about it. If it's out there in the open, we all have the crazy neighbor that everybody in the neighborhood knows about because they are, and they're saying it, Facebook starting to block it.

[00:02:55]We're just not going to know. And then what do they do? If you report someone who is saying some things that you think might be extreme, things like you should check voter ID at the voting booth. There are people that think that's extreme and they report you what's likely to happen. We know already that one of the things that many people who have been doing online is reporting people.

[00:03:22] They don't like as someone who is posting things that are violent or extreme and getting their stuff blocked and demonetized in some cases, but just plain old blocked. It's a great little tool for people to shut up. Other people, just shut them down, shut them up. They can't say it anymore just because they disagree with the content that's already in place.

[00:03:48] Now what's going to happen. If someone is reported as being, not an extremist or on the road to extremism, what liability is there on Facebook's side? What liability is there with, for instance, the FBI or local one force. There are obvious things that should be reported to law enforcement. If someone's saying they're going to harm themselves or harm someone else then we need to have a closer look at that.

[00:04:14] If you actually have the belief that they will and can do that. I was as a mandated reporter for 10 years because I was in emergency medical services. If I thought someone was trying to commit harm to themselves or someone else, I was mandated to report, but I have to think that I can't just use the reporting tools as a way to shut up my political opponents.

[00:04:43] So someone reports another person as being an extremist of Facebook, Facebook then sends it to who are they going to send it to the FBI? What's the FBI going to do well. The FBI is mandated to report again in their reports and investigate. So what are they going to do for the investigation? It needs to rise to a level of the FBI thinks that this might be an illegal activity so that they can investigate it.

[00:05:11] They can hopefully stop something before it happens. Something violent, something nasty. But what does the investigation take ground? I'm taking you all the way down the road here. The investigation is going to include them having a look at what you said, looking at the people who are within your social network.

[00:05:32] So who do you. Two. Who do you follow? Who follows you? They may start looking at your phone. Who are you calling? What SMS messages are you receiving? Where are you hanging out? Where's your phone going every day? Who goes to that bar that you like to hang out at? Oh my goodness. You went to a gun range.

[00:05:50] Who's at that gun range and so very quick. The investigation is all of a sudden roping everybody and all of your family members, all of your closest friends, anybody that might've liked something that you had said recently, even though it might not have been extremist. And so now by having Facebook looking for extremists and people who might be on the road to extremism and counting on you to report them, they have opened up a can of worms.

[00:06:22] Huge can of worms and remember too, with the FBI and with others, including the NSA and the CIA, they have this multi hop rule. I think it's three hops now. So if they suspect you of something and what is suspect you, is it the fact that someone reported you as being an extremist, just because they disagree with you politically, they disagree with your religion.

[00:06:48] Is that enough for them to suspect it. So now they can monitor not just your stuff, but anyone that has talked to you or liked you and anyone that has talked to them or It doesn't take long. I think that whole Kevin bacon thing, right? Everybody in Hollywood's within five degrees of Kevin bacon. In fact, I think everybody in the United States is within five degrees of Kevin bacon.

[00:07:12] In other words, they can hop through opt to five people and connect to anyone in the country. That is absolutely huge. Absolutely huge. According to the verge. Facebook is doing this in response to the Christ church call for action campaign Christchurch. Remember in New Zealand and there was an atrocity that was committed there.

[00:07:41] These hate and dangerous organizations. That's what they're up to. They're trying to stop all of this. And it goes back to March in 2019. I think it was this attacking Christchurch. Obviously a terrible thing. People knew about this person and their radical approaches. The police have been informed, but nothing happened.

[00:08:05] So now we want even more monitoring to go on. At least Facebook does. This is really a problem. There's all kinds of bad behavior online. We hide behind our supposedly anonymity. Look at the terrible thing. Some people say online about you name it, right? Different people, kids in high school, either people in other walks of life.

[00:08:33] It is terrible. So Facebook has this support page titled what can I do to prevent rattling? Radek  radicalization. There we go. I knew I could say it. It's a really good question. Yeah. They've got links on that page to life after hate exit USA program, which Facebook says help people find a way out of hate and violence.

[00:08:57] I'm all great with that. I think that's a good thing. It's not a bad thing, but now having them report people that someone. In their non-inferior wisdom decides might be hate speech or might be on a road to extremism because remember anybody that voted for Donald Trump is considered to be someone who's on the road to extremism, or is an extremist.

[00:09:22] For voting for him, the worst president ever. How many times have you heard that sort of thing? It has happened all of the time. And so we've got to be very careful about these open reporting things that are online. We have to be careful about reporting. Other people, it brings to mind two things.

[00:09:41] One is two TV shows. One is one. That apple produced and you can watch, and it's all about this guy. You were a reporter, a news anchor, and he was supposedly sexually harassing someone and yeah, he was to a degree, but the crime and the punishment was just totally out of whack. And one of my wife's favorite shows the It was the good wife and now it's a good fight.

[00:10:12] That's what it is in season five, episode three. It is delving into this in a very big way. What happens when you report someone? Should they be reported? You've got to think twice about that. Even when, again, I was in EMS, what happens if I report someone potential neglect potential child abuse here, they can go through hell.

[00:10:37] So be very careful. I don't like this move by. But you probably figured that out already, right? Hey, you stick around. We've got a lot more to talk about today and I also want to encourage you. If you haven't already go to my website, sign up for the newsletter. Craig peterson.com/subscribe and get all of the latest and most important technology news in your mailbox.