Facebook 'terrorism' Definition 'Overly Broad': UN Rights Expert

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Facebook definition of terrorism is "overly broad" and may lead to governments suppressing opposition from legitimate groups, a UN human rights expert warned. To find and take away terrorist content from its platform, Facebook uses detection technology furthermore as a team of moderators assisted by a 200-strong counter-terrorism team.

Facebook's lack of clarity

The UN Special Reporter on promoting and protecting human rights while countering terrorism has written to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg to express concern about the company's efforts to block "terrorists" from using its platform, according to a statement.

The use of excessively broad and imprecise definitions as the basis for regulation access to and also the use of Facebook's platform could result in to discriminatory implementation, over-censoring and arbitrary denial of access to and use of Facebook services, Fionnuala Ni Aolain warned.

Facebook definition, she said, equates all non state groups that use violence in pursuit of any goals or ends to terrorist entities. The social media networks police disallow terrorists from using its services and it uses detection technologies and a growing team of moderators to seek out and take away content.

The use of such a sweeping definition is especially worrying in lightwight of number of governments seeking to stigmatize diverse forms of dissent and opposition - whether or not peaceful or violent - as terrorism act," Ni Aolain said. "The definition is additional at odds with international humanitarian law as it because qualifies all non-state armed groups party to a non-international armed conflict as terrorists, notwithstanding these teams comply with international humanitarian law, she stressed.

She also voiced concern over a scarcity of clarity regarding the ways Facebook uses to see if a person belongs to a specific group, and if that person has "the chance to meaningfully challenge such determination.

The absence of any independent processes of review, oversight and monitoring of Facebook actions is also highly problematic, she added.