For immediate release | Thursday, May 16, 2019

CEP’s Dr. Hany Farid: Tech Companies Have Failed “To Recognize Abuses on Their Platform”

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With “Misuse,” CEP Releases Fourth of Nine-Part Series on Online Extremism

The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) today released the fourth of a nine-part video series featuring CEP Senior Adviser Dr. Hany Farid, an incoming professor at the University of California at Berkeley. In this week’s video, titled "Misuse,” In this week’s video, titled “Misuse,” Dr. Farid states that tech companies have time and again failed to recognize misuses of their platform by online extremists and have failed to respond quickly or install safeguards to prevent said misuse from happening again.

As Dr. Farid states, “You’ve got to be asking – who is paying attention to this? Who is now thinking about how the systems are being abused? The failure here has been in the tech companies’ – Number one, failure to recognize abuses on their platform. Failure number two is to respond quickly. And failure number three is to put safeguards in for the next abuses. So I think it becomes at some point inexcusable for the repeated abuses year in, year out, decade in, decade out.”

Please find a transcript for "Misuse" below:

“You have to think about the global reach of the Internet, and in some ways, that is a very attractive target. I can reach not just the people in my neighborhood or my city or my state, I can reach the world. I can reach some seven billion people. What we have seen is everything from criminals to conmen to terrorists to state-sponsored propaganda, have figured out how to leverage weaknesses in YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and all of the other social media companies. You’ve got to be asking – who is paying attention to this? Who is now thinking about how the systems are being abused? The failure here has been in the tech companies’ – Number one, failure to recognize the abuses on their platform. Failure number two is to respond quickly. And failure number three is to put safeguards in for the next abuses. So I think it becomes at some point inexcusable for the repeated abuses year in, year out, decade in, decade out.”

Please find additional videos from the series below:

April 24: Intro

May 1: Internet

May 9: eGLYPH

May 16: Misuse