Connect with us

World

U.S. looks to Facebook, private groups to battle online extremism

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

U.S. looks to Facebook, private groups to battle online extremism | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

U.S. looks to Facebook, private groups to battle online extremism
Phuket Gazette / Reuters

WASHINGTON: The U.S. government, acknowledging its limited success in combating Islamic extremist messaging, is recruiting tech companies, community organizations and educational groups to take the lead in disrupting online radicalization.

The change in strategy, which took a step forward on Wednesday when the Justice Department convened a meeting with social media firms including Facebook Inc, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google , comes despite what critics say is scant evidence on the effectiveness of such efforts.

The meeting was “a recognition that the government is ill-positioned and ill-equipped to counter ISIS online,” Seamus Hughes, deputy director of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, said after attending the event, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

The federal government is not best placed to counter extremist online recruitment efforts with messaging of its own, said George Selim, director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office that coordinates the government’s “countering violent extremism” (CVE) activities.

The goal now, he said, is to help “communities and young people to amplify their own messages.”

Those messages stem from so-called “counter-narrative” programs underway at schools and community groups that have varying degrees of government support, according to government officials and private sector experts.

Past campaigns by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama to thwart extremist propaganda globally were widely regarded as too reliant on fear-based rhetoric and graphic imagery to be effective.

But whether the new joint effort with the private sector will fare better remains unclear, say experts in countering extremism.

The Obama administration has had an uneasy relationship with Silicon Valley in recent years. Twitter and other tech firms have been reticent to appear too cozy with authorities on how they manage their content, though most have cautiously drifted toward being more compliant over the past year.

Facebook last year partnered with British research group Demos to examine the impact of “counter-messaging” against hate speech in four European countries.

The study, released in October, concluded it was “extremely difficult to calculate with any degree of precision” whether such efforts have a real impact on long-term attitudes or offline behavior.

“You don’t necessarily know if something is going to change the way someone thinks offline, but we can measure whether somebody shares that content or interacts with it,” Monica Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, told Reuters.

FINDING CREDIBLE VOICES

One of the new programs, funded partly by Facebook and multiple government agencies, underwrites “peer-to-peer” (P2P) college courses that teach students to create their own anti-militant messaging.

Facebook declined to say how much it was investing in the program, though Selim described Facebook’s overall investment in CVE initiatives as “very significant.”

Fatemah Yousef, a student at Kuwait Gulf University for Science and Technology student, flew to Washington this month to join a Facebook event showcasing counter-messaging projects created by students.

Yousef, 23, exhibited a blog that encourages Kuwaiti students to denounce violent extremism on social media.

Another P2P finalist, a group from the University of Arkansas, produced a video showing graphic Islamic State executions set to heavy metal band Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”

Half way through, the video switched to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin'” as captions urged viewers to “raise a flag” against extremism.

After viewing the video, a judge in the contest told the students that “probably about 90 to 95 percent” of the images in the video had been used in violent extremist recruitment videos.

“We’ve had this problem in other places where people try to instill fear in target audiences by showing all this mayhem, but it actually does the reverse with some,” said the judge, Quintan Wiktorowicz, a former White House director for community partnerships.

Another effort is underway at WORDE, a Muslim educational organization in Maryland, which last week launched a campaign that aims to refute Islamic State messages through catchy videos and live broadcasts of discussions about mainstream Islam.

WORDE plans to use software or survey questions to gauge the impact of its new counter-messaging campaign, said Hedieh Mirahmadi, the group’s president.

“Everybody creates stuff but doesn’t really care about whether it’s connected to the science of evaluations,” Mirahmadi told Reuters.

Democratic New Jersey Senator Cory Booker told Reuters that he is working on two bills – one of which has already passed committee in the Senate – that would give DHS the authority to fund more college classes and research on how to best counter Islamic State’s slick propaganda campaigns.

“Government messages do not prove to have that type of virality,” Booker said.

The P2P program is the only private sector counter-messaging initiative that acknowledges receiving training from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but a senior FBI official said the agency provides information to other non-governmental groups whose CVE-related work may include counter-messaging.

Some efforts avoid federal funding altogether.

Mohamed Magid, a Virginia imam who has counseled several youth targeted by Islamic State recruiters, leads an Islamic foundation soliciting donations to create a 24/7 online operation that would answer each Islamic State video with peaceful messages.

“If we say this is a government thing, it might not have legitimacy,” Magid said. “We’re challenging the Muslim community to say, on this, yourself, respond to the challenge.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand9 hours ago

CAAT insists air travellers still need to mask up on Thai flights

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Court sentences police for torturing teenager 

What you get for $X10 hours ago

Sea view condos in Phuket you can rent for $1500 and less

Sponsored17 hours ago

Regents Pattaya: First International School in Thailand to be accredited with the Wellbeing Award for Schools

Bangkok10 hours ago

On top of fire this week, Bangkok’s Chinatown deals with house collapse

Bangkok10 hours ago

Police close joints on Khao San Road for selling cannabis without a licence

Songkhla10 hours ago

Songhla food festival hopes to draw tourists with its Hat Yai fried chicken

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Travel11 hours ago

The best honeymoon resorts in Phuket for 2022

Travel11 hours ago

Thailand’s magical festivals, but which one is the best?

Bangkok11 hours ago

Malaysian arrested in Bangkok for wildlife trafficking, claims he came for cannabis

Central Thailand12 hours ago

Gold snatcher on the loose in central Thailand

Thailand13 hours ago

PayPal Thailand back this year for those with Thai ID Cards

Chon Buri13 hours ago

Chon Buri police stop former military sergeant from jumping off school roof

Politics13 hours ago

Thai PM tells nation to buckle up for ‘winds of change’

Expats14 hours ago

Norwegian man stabs himself in Pattaya hotel

Phuket14 hours ago

19 year old Australian falls to his death at a Phuket hotel

Thailand10 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending

By continuing to use our site you consent to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy.