By Amy Gunia
May 10, 2019

A new study released on Thursday shows that terrorist groups are active on Facebook and the social media company may be unwittingly generating terrorist content.

A five-month study by the National Whistleblowers Center analyzed the pages of 3,000 members that had connections to terrorist organizations, and found that ISIS and al-Qaeda are openly networking on the platform, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

It also found that Facebook is auto-generating content like “Memories” videos, and “Local Business” pages, according to AFP. One “Local Business” page for al-Qaeda had 7,410 likes, according to the research.

“Facebook’s efforts to stamp out terror content have been weak and ineffectual,” an executive summary of the 48-page document said, according to AFP.

Facebook told AFP it had been removing terror-linked content “at a far higher success rate than even two years go” since investing in better technology. The company announced that it is using machine learning to weed out terrorist content in a statement late last year.

The whistleblower has filed a petition with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that Facebook is likely breaking the law for misrepresenting shareholders and the public.

Read More: New Zealand and France to Ask World Leaders to Take a Pledge About Ending Online Terror

Facebook has faced increased scrutiny for its role in online terror since a gunman live-streamed 17 minutes of a New Zealand mosque shooting on the social media platform.

Several countries have taken steps to regulate online content since the attack. In early April, Australia passed legislation setting out fines and punishment for social media sites for hate content, and the U.K has proposed making social media executives personally responsible for harmful content shared on their platforms.

Write to Amy Gunia at [email protected].

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