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Why Facebook removed a line about monitoring terrorists on 'private channels' from Mark Zuckerberg's company manifesto (FB)


Mark Zuckerberg question mark

On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg published a nearly 6,000-word letter about the future of Facebook.

The Facebook founder and CEO's lengthy manifesto mainly focused on Facebook's globalist mission to connect the world and develop "the social infrastructure for community" everywhere.

In one part of the letter, Zuckerberg talked about using artificial intelligence to keep terrorists and their propaganda off Facebook.

"Right now, we're starting to explore ways to use AI to tell the difference between news stories about terrorism and actual terrorist propaganda so we can quickly remove anyone trying to use our services to recruit for a terrorist organization," he wrote.

But tucked within an earlier version of the letter, which was shared with news outlets before it was published, was another line about using AI to monitor terrorists on "private channels." Mashable first spotted the change.

Here's the original version of Zuckerberg's comment on AI (emphasis added):

"The long-term promise of AI is that in addition to identifying risks more quickly and accurately than would have already happened, it may also identify risks that nobody would have flagged at all — including terrorists planning attacks using private channels, people bullying someone too afraid to report it themselves, and other issues both local and global. It will take many years to develop these systems."

The Associated Press originally published the paragraph that included the mention of monitoring private channels, but its story has since been updated "to substitute a quote on artificial intelligence to reflect what was actually in the manifesto."

A Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider on Friday that the line was removed "because we are not yet sure exactly how AI will be used in the future," and that the company strongly values encryption.

“The line talking about the long term promise of AI was removed from the final version of the letter because we are not yet sure exactly how AI will be used in the future," the spokesperson said. "But our intention is definitely to use AI to fight terrorism. As noted in the letter, we will do so in ways that protect people’s privacy -- we are strong advocates of encryption and have built it into the largest messaging platforms in the world -- WhatsApp and Messenger.”

It's common for social networks to combat terrorism propaganda on their platforms. Still, the idea that Facebook could one day use AI to monitor seemingly-private conversations suggests that the company is willing to scan accounts for potentially terrorist activity in the future.

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg wrote a nearly 6,000-word letter about the future of Facebook that quotes Abe Lincoln — here are the key points

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