• Follow us

Technology

Hundreds of active and former police officers are part of extremist Facebook groups

Hundreds of active and retired police officers and law enforcement personnel are congregating in private Facebook groups where they engage in open racism, Islamophobia, and even lend support to violent, anti-government groups, according to an investigation from nonprofit news organization Reveal, which is run by the US Center for Investigative Reporting.

After Reveal notified law enforcement agencies, more than 50 departments have reportedly opened internal investigations. In some cases, departments say they’ll be evaluating officers’ online activity to see if it may have influenced past policing conduct. At least one officer has been fired for violating department policies as a result of participating in these groups, some of which bear names like “White Lives Matter” and “Death to Islam Undercover.”

Reveal reports that the groups contain a full range of right-wing political ideologies, from standard conservativism to far-right initiatives that center around outright racism and Islamophobia. Some go even further: some Facebook groups surveyed by Reveal were associated with anti-government and militia movements, like the Oath Keepers. Reveal says that 150 of the 400 or so officers that it identified as belonging to these groups were part of that more extreme end.

The unifying thread to all of these Facebook groups is that they are frequented and sometimes founded and operated by active and retired police officers, and that they actively recruit other police officers to join. Reveal reports that members of small rural departments and officers in the largest precincts in the nation, in Los Angeles and New York City, are participating in these groups.

Reveal’s findings are troubling for Facebook’s ongoing moderation efforts. Like most of Silicon Valley’s large social platforms that host media and speech, Facebook is struggling to deal with its outsize impact on society; the company has neither the resources nor the wherewithal to combat the flood of hate groups, extremism, and misinformation on its platform. In some rare but tragic cases, activity on platforms like Facebook and Google’s YouTube has contributed to the radicalization of certain individuals who go on to commit offline violence. And in some disturbing cases, like the Christchurch shooting earlier this year, that offline violence is then rebroadcast on Facebook and YouTube for maximum effect.

Facebook has leaned on artificial intelligence as a kind of panacea for its moderation woes. But at the F8 developer conference earlier this year, Facebook also announced a shift away from the News Feed and toward private groups as a way to lessen the influence of its algorithms. The shift also, in a way, absolves the company of responsibility for moderation. If public posts and pages wane in favor of private group activity, the logic is that those groups will self-moderate, and that by nature of being private they’ll reduce the reach of potentially harmful activity, too.

But there’s no evidence to suggest Facebook is taking a more active role in moderating these groups’ activities — in fact, the opposite appears to be true. And the notion of active duty police officers with access to firearms participating openly in bigotry and potentially violent online behavior is worrisome for how it could translate into offline actions in the future.

Facebook bans content that targets individuals based on their skin color or religion under its hate speech policies, and it also has rules around violent incitement and groups that have been known to organize and take action offline. It’s taken action against groups like far-right figure Gavin McInnes’ Proud Boys and individuals like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for violations of those policies.

But it’s often difficult for Facebook to take such action against individuals without large followings or specific groups if those groups are private and if those groups have taken measures to conceal the nature of their purpose. As such, some organizations on Facebook use coy in-jokes and other far-right dog whistling tactics to circumvent Facebook’s algorithmic filters. So a group with the phrase “Ku Klux Klan” in its title will easily get taken down, but one titled “Confederate Brothers & Sisters” will go unnoticed.

Reveal says it identified these officers with a strategy that, ironically enough, involved using data Facebook has since stopped providing to third-parties due to developer misuse. Yet it’s this data that allows watchdogs like Reveal to do the investigations Facebook seemingly won’t.

To find cops with connections to extremist groups, we built lists of two different types of Facebook users: members of extremist groups and members of police groups.

We wrote software to download these lists directly from Facebook, something the platform allowed at the time. In mid-2018, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and after we already had downloaded our data, Facebook shut down the ability to download membership lists from groups. Then we ran those two datasets against each other to find users who were members of at least one law enforcement group and one far-right group.

We got 14,000 hits.

Reveal says it could not initially assume that every member in a police Facebook group was an actual officer or even a retired one. They could have been individuals with general affinity and respect for law enforcement, relatives of officers, or those who aspire to join the police. So Reveal says it did research on hundreds of individuals, sometimes calling local departments to confirm active employment or retirement status. Reveal also joined dozens of these groups to verify its findings.

“Ultimately, we confirmed that almost 400 users were indeed either currently employed as police officers, sheriffs or prison guards or had once worked in law enforcement,” the report reads. It is not clear at the moment how Facebook plans to review these groups or under what policies it might take action. Meanwhile, Reveal reports that the law enforcement agencies it contacted are continuing to conduct their own investigations into the officers’ online and offline conduct.

Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

TechNewsWorld

Social Media, Crafters, Gamers and the Online Censorship 2019-07-12 15:09:30Ravelry, an online knitting community that has more than 8 million members, last month announced that it would ban forum posts, projects, patterns and

Debian Linux 10 'Buster' Places Stability Ahead of 2019-07-12 08:00:00After 25 months of development, the makers of the granddaddy of the Linux OSes released an upgrade that updates many of the software packages and play

Zoom Flaw Turns Mac Cam into Spy Cam 2019-07-10 12:42:04A security researcher has found a flaw in the popular video conferencing app Zoom that could be used to turn on the camera on a Macintosh computer wit

The Router's Obstacle-Strewn Route to Home IoT Security 2019-07-10 08:00:00It is newly minted conventional wisdom that not a single information security conference goes by without a presentation about the abysmal state of IoT

FBI, ICE Turn Drivers' Licenses Into Facial Recognition 2019-07-09 08:00:00State motor vehicle departments have become a rich source of facial recognition data for and FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Resea

Mageia 7 Pushes Linux Desktop Boundaries 2019-07-08 14:51:12Mageia 7 redefines the concept of traditional Linux. It is a solid operating system well suited to both newcomers and seasoned Linux users alike. The

Anticipating the Merger of Apple and Oracle 2019-07-08 13:01:14After reading about the departure of Jony Ive, I'm trying to wrap my head around Apple without a design focus. Now this isn't as hard as you might t

Can You Hear Me Now? Staying Connected During 2019-07-03 08:00:00While good communication is pretty much universally beneficial, there are times when it's more so than others. One such time? During a cybersecurity

Clean Energy Solutions to Lower Your Electric Bill 2019-07-01 14:47:21Utility bills can get astronomical in the summer and winter. You can reduce those costs and your carbon footprint by signing up for Arcadia Power. Acc

The Democratic Debate That Wasn't: How Tech Could 2019-07-01 08:43:36I watched the Democratic debates last week and was struck by three things: I'd likely rather watch paint dry; the application of technology to improv

NSA Admits Improper Collection of Phone Data, 2nd 2019-06-27 05:39:54The ACLU has released documents showing the NSA improperly collected Americans' call and text logs in November 2017 and in February and October 2018.

Chinese Hackers Linked to Global Attacks on Telcos 2019-06-26 13:04:05Chinese hackers likely are responsible for a series of cyberattacks against telecommunications companies around the world, security researchers have r

PCWorld

How to build a killer PC for cheap 2019-07-17 13:26:00My, how far we’ve come in half a year. RAM and SSD prices have dropped so much that in combination with Amazon Prime Day’s PC component sa

Emoji are getting more inclusive on your iPhone 2019-07-17 11:43:00In case you forgot to buy your phone a present, it’s World Emoji Day today. And to celebrate, Apple and Google have unveiled a slew of new emoji

Scout’s $99 video doorbell promises to detect people 2019-07-17 09:00:00The makers of a new, bargain-priced smart doorbell claims it's found a better way of detecting people on your doorstep, as opposed to cars or critter

Google Pixel 3a review: A budget phone that 2019-07-17 06:09:00The Google Pixel 3a makes a strong case for tossing out the spec sheet. On paper, it looks like yet another boring budget smartphone, with a middling

V-Moda M100 Crossfade Master headphone review: The best 2019-07-17 06:00:00The first real collaboration between V-Moda and majority stakeholder Roland delivers sonic refinements and performance improvements in just about ever

Ryzen 3000 Review: AMD's 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X 2019-07-17 06:00:00Our review of AMD’s 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X CPU, in five words:Damn, this CPU is fast.But keep reading, because the Ryzen 9 3900X is lik

Nextbase 422GW dash cam review: Superior video and 2019-07-17 05:00:00Nextbase’s new GW modular series, including the $230 422GW reviewed here, have raised the bar for dual-channel dash cams. They’re pricey,

How to make voice and video calls using 2019-07-16 18:20:00You can use Alexa on your Amazon Echo to make calls without a mobile number or landline? Here's how.

How to play music you own on an 2019-07-16 17:57:00Play your own MP3 collection on an Amazon Echo or other Alexa devices using Plex or My Media.

AMD has a loaner program for third-gen Ryzen 2019-07-16 14:39:00Because of limitations in a motherboard's BIOS, third-generation Ryzen chips may not boot with older AM4 motherboards. The solution? An exchange prog

Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar review: A taste of immersive 2019-07-16 11:10:00The first soundbar with DTS Virtual:X technology is impressive, but it's not perfect.

Eero Home WiFi System 2 review: Beacons make 2019-07-16 10:37:00The second-generation Eero Home WiFi System is even easier to set up than the first, thanks to wireless access points called Beacons that plug straigh

TechCrunch

India’s Oyo valued at $10B after founder purchases 2019-07-19 14:13:44Ritesh Agarwal has reportedly purchased back $2 billion in shares from VC firms Sequoia and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Self-driving startup AutoX expands beyond deliveries and sets 2019-07-19 14:01:18AutoX, the Hong Kong and San Jose, Calif.-based autonomous vehicle technology company, is pushing past its grocery delivery roots and into the AV supp

How to go to market in middle America 2019-07-19 12:39:27There comes a time for many startup companies where they either realize they need to do a nationwide roll-out, or they need to actively target buyers

Lyft expands its PIN feature for airport pickups 2019-07-19 12:33:38Lyft has announced an expansion of its new program designed to make airport pickups less confusing for riders and drivers alike, by directing riders t

Powering the brains of tomorrow’s intelligent machines 2019-07-19 12:30:38Sense and compute are the electronic eyes and ears that will be the ultimate power behind automating menial work and encouraging humans to cultivate t

Parrot’s getting out of the low-end drone business 2019-07-19 12:28:49Parrot announced the AR.Drone back at CES 2010, three years before DJI’s Phantom 1. It was a seemingly odd move by a company best known for maki

Mylk Guys wants to be the online vegan 2019-07-19 12:21:41Gaurav Maken, the chief executive officer of the online vegan grocery store Mylk Guys, doesn’t think of his company as a place to just buy food.

Twitter tests a new way to label replies 2019-07-19 10:56:43Twitter is testing a new way to make conversation threads easier to follow, with the launch of a new test that labels notable replies with special ico

Twitter to attempt to address conversation gaps caused 2019-07-19 10:45:55Twitter’s self-service tool for blocking content you don’t want to see (as well as a growing tendency for users to delete a lot of the con

Huawei’s new OS is for industrial use, not 2019-07-19 10:27:54Seems Hongmeng isn’t the Android replacement it’s been pitched as, after all. The initial story certainly tracked, as Huawei has been prep

China’s Tiangong-2 space station is officially no more 2019-07-19 10:24:21Chinese space station Tiangong-2 has officially ended its mission, and the orbital research facility’s entire existence. The platform de-orbited

After Baidu tie-up, BMW taps Tencent for autonomous 2019-07-19 10:12:20China is BMW’s largest market, and the German automaker knows in order to capture the country’s demanding consumers, its future models mus

FOX News

Instagram will warn about account takedowns, add new 2019-07-19 14:04:12Instagram is boosting its content moderation appeals process and adding a new alert that will warn users who violate rules when their account is close

Orlando cancels Amazon's controversial facial recognition pilot program 2019-07-19 12:24:43Orlando's pilot of Amazon's facial recognition program is coming to an end after being plagued by technical issues, bandwidth problems and criticism

Facebook and Google are keeping tabs on what 2019-07-19 11:36:53If you thought Facebook and Google were creepy with how much they know about you — think again. They even know what porn you watch.

Apollo 11: Tranquility base should get special heritage 2019-07-19 09:59:23Tranquility base, where humans first set foot on the Moon, should be given special heritage status to protect it from future damange, according to the

Samsung's most advanced phone, the Galaxy Note 10, 2019-07-19 08:54:22Samsung’s newest high-end phone series, packed with its latest technology, is coming in August. Here’s what to expect.

Future fighter jets will use AI-enabled weapons and 2019-07-19 08:42:56The Navy is currently analyzing air frames, targeting systems, AI-enabled sensors, new weapons and engine technologies to engineer a new 6th-Generatio

No more Instagram 'likes'? Tech giant hiding 'like' 2019-07-18 14:49:17Instagram is giving more of its users the option to publicly hide the like count on their posts.

Video game cheaters get a taste of their 2019-07-18 13:18:49Respawn, the studio behind Apex Legends, is beefing up anti-cheat software, actively seeking out cheaters and auto-banning players before they even ge

YouTube star's death prompts Amazon to push for 2019-07-18 12:56:30Following the death of YouTube star Emily Hartridge in a London accident, Amazon will reportedly begin asking e-scooter sellers to warn consumers abou

Free Wi-Fi is dicey: how to safely access 2019-07-18 11:17:36Free Wi-Fi is irresistible for many travelers but it carries risks.

FaceApp security concerns: Experts say Russians might own 2019-07-17 14:16:04The viral FaceApp photo filter, which allows you digitally age yourself by a few decades, but experts are warning that the app poses several security

Former Microsoft employee bought $1.6M house after stealing 2019-07-17 13:42:58A 25-year-old former Microsoft employee, who helped simulate tech company's digital retail sales, has been charged Tuesday after swiping gift cards a

Thetechhacker

How to Create Fake Text Message (Android & 2019-07-18 13:37:37Have you ever wondered on how to create fake text message like the ones you see in memes? Or ever stuck in some situation from which you want to get o

How to fix Android “not registered on a 2019-07-18 12:31:41Android “not registered on network error” is a quite annoying problem when we try to insert the SIM card on Android device. It is the most

Viral app FaceApp’s Privacy Policy is terrible and 2019-07-18 03:35:49You must have already heard about FaceApp and the viral hashtag #faceappchallenge. This is a challenge where you need to post your pictures of how you

Clone apps of FaceApp going viral and you 2019-07-18 02:58:09As we have seen many times in the past, Internet users are a very weird bunch of people. There are apps and websites that have been made viral which s

The beginner’s guide to WebRTC 2019-07-17 14:01:34The web is constantly developing. As people come up with new ideas on how to use the web in innovative ways, new technologies have to be created to en

Does your Android phone need extra security? 2019-07-17 13:29:03Technology is evolving rapidly, but with it comes new threats to mobile security. Whereas many of us are wise to the dangers on our home computers, pr

Chinese app developer CooTek banned by Google for 2019-07-17 03:35:21While Google is known to be very strict when it comes to bad apps, there are some instances when someone gets into the system. One such case was recen

Elon Musk says Neuralink plans to develop brain-reading 2019-07-17 03:08:39If you have never heard about Neuralink before, it is a secretive company from Elon Musk like many others. This company develops brain-machine interfa

Harman Kardon Allure 2019-07-16 23:52:07The post Harman Kardon Allure appeared first on Thetechhacker.

eufy Genie Smart Speaker 2019-07-16 13:13:57The post eufy Genie Smart Speaker appeared first on Thetechhacker.

JAM HX-P590BK 2019-07-16 13:10:39The post JAM HX-P590BK appeared first on Thetechhacker.

Best retail POS Softwares for your business 2019-07-16 12:14:03(POS) Software or Point of Sale Software helps you manage accounts, payments, invoices, inventory, and many more things for a small to scaled business

SlashGear

Rick and Morty Season 4 clip shows alien 2019-07-19 19:25:56Rick and Morty fans have been waiting nearly two years for the arrival of the show’s fourth season and, unfortunately, there are more months of

Fortnite leakers unite in plan to avoid Cattus 2019-07-19 18:34:14Spoilers on the Internet are inevitable, but particularly frustrating when they arrive in the form of leaks before the actual content airs or is relea

Pokemon GO PVE quick guide update: How charged 2019-07-19 18:04:36The weekend is ripe for battles of all sorts in the world of Pokemon GO. This Friday Niantic updated their system to include a whole bunch of Team Lea

A hybrid Corvette C8 – or even fully-electric 2019-07-19 18:04:03The new 2020 Corvette may have a hybrid in its not-too-distant future, with Chevrolet refusing to shut down chatter of electrified versions of the bra

Netflix is making its dubbed foreign content sound 2019-07-19 17:34:48Netflix is home to a vast library of foreign content offering dubbed audio for English speakers. Some of these shows, such as Dark, have proven very p

With no Android Plan B, Huawei bets on 2019-07-19 16:49:59Google is hunting official permission to keep supplying Android to Huawei, the Chinese phone-maker claims, as uncertainty around the US government&rsq

Apollo 11 was iconic – now NASA wants 2019-07-19 16:43:43The week, NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of its biggest achievements – the Apollo 11 mission, which was the mission that first

Large cancer study has good news for daily 2019-07-19 16:26:26Coffee has been the subject of dozens of studies, some focusing on its health benefits, others on its potential health risks. Though we know the polyp

FaceApp privacy: We still recommend you delete 2019-07-19 15:57:25Today we’re taking a look at the quick rise and confusing fall of FaceApp and the privacy concerns therein. Early privacy-centered reactions to

New tattoo ink is a mood ring for 2019-07-19 15:14:59Humans have been getting tattoos since ancient days, but modern science is giving them a new purpose: health condition monitoring. Researchers have de

Oppo and Vivo just revealed a genius WiFi 2019-07-19 15:12:49In the constant struggle to stand out in a sea of other smartphones from a variety of different manufacturers, Oppo and Vivo are both looking to make

Chevy says these buttons “earned their place” on 2019-07-19 14:52:44The 2020 Corvette C8 is real, and we still can’t get past its divisive dashboard. From the early leaked image, through to confirmation that the

Electrek

Tesla updates map of upcoming Supercharger stations – 2019-07-19 18:25:56 Tesla has updated its map of upcoming Supercharger stations around the world – showing where the automaker is going next. more… Subscrib

Podcast: Tesla updates pricing and options, new Supercharger 2019-07-19 15:26:34 This week on the Electrek Podcast, we discuss the most popular news in the world of sustainable transport and energy, including Tesla updating p

WORX Cordless Electric Leaf Blower is $60, more 2019-07-19 13:15:02 The official WORX eBay store offers its WG546 certified refurbished 20V Cordless Leaf Blower with a batteries and charger for $59.99 shipped. That&rs

Audi uses Tesla Supercharger stations to advertise e-tron 2019-07-19 13:11:43 Audi has been using Tesla Supercharger stations to advertise its e-tron electric SUV. Is this a smart move, or are they shooting themselves in the fo

New mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette to become electric…probably 2019-07-19 11:48:18 Chevrolet just unveiled its new mid-engine Corvette, the 2020 Stingray, and though it’s an ICE car, comments from GM brass leave the door open

Tesla-inspired electric boat unveiled: X Shore Eelex 8000 2019-07-19 10:42:09 Konrad Bergstrom, the Swedish tech millionaire behind the new electric boat startup X Shore, says that he was inspired by Tesla to create its lineup

Toyota partners with BYD to make all-electric cars 2019-07-19 08:49:00 Just days after announcing a Chinese battery deal, Toyota has announced that it will partner with another company, BYD, to develop all-electric cars

EGEB: Georgia Republicans increase solar, unconventional battery storage, 2019-07-19 08:17:44 In today’s EGEB: Five Georgia regulators, all Republicans, call for more solar — and to shut down coal. A porous, recyclable silicon

Tesla aims for Roadster ‘hover’ test with SpaceX 2019-07-19 05:52:43 Tesla’s timeline for the new Roadster appears to be slipping and we got another indication of that as CEO Elon Musk says that Tesla plans to &l

Tesla opens new V3 Supercharger with solar and 2019-07-18 18:25:01 Tesla has opened a rare new V3 Supercharger station after launching the new generation of its EV charging infrastructure months ago. It was worth the

Elon Musk reveals the Tesla vehicles he currently 2019-07-18 16:19:04 Now that Tesla has a more extensive lineup of vehicles, do you ever wonder what models and variants Elon Musk drives? The CEO has now revealed his pr

Will Tesla’s (TSLA) record sales result in profit? 2019-07-18 14:49:12 Tesla (TSLA) is going to release its second quarter earnings results next week after announcing record delivery numbers earlier this month. Now the m

Ars Technica UK

Netflix lost US subscribers in Q2 over price 2019-07-19 18:24:48Increased costs and competition make for a precarious situation at Netflix.

Blizzard’s bad-news year continues with another co-founder’s departure 2019-07-19 18:02:53News comes amid period marked by layoffs, focus on existing IP, and a lack of new games.

Verizon wants you to pay $650 plus $85 2019-07-19 17:55:59If Verizon charges this much now, just imagine if 5G was widely available.

President Trump says NASA should “listen to the 2019-07-19 17:32:53We also heard praise for reusable rockets in the Oval Office Friday.

New York passes its Green New Deal, announces 2019-07-19 16:22:00A Green New Deal with an emphasis on the green part.

How private is your browser’s Private mode? Research 2019-07-19 16:14:13Data brokers like Facebook, Google, and Oracle might know more than you think.

Chrome 76 prevents NYT and other news sites 2019-07-19 14:05:47In Chrome 76, websites can no longer check FileSystem API to detect private mode.

The Greatest Leap, part 4: Catching Apollo fever 2019-07-19 13:37:44“In today’s day and age, they’d probably all be in jail or something.”

Google tries to reassure gamers it’s behind Stadia 2019-07-19 12:35:30But buying individual games that only live in the cloud presents a new kind of risk.

Extending the savings: Get 20% off an Ars 2019-07-19 11:10:42Support quality tech journalism and get a better Ars experience.

The Corvette goes mid-engined—supercar performance for $60,000 2019-07-19 10:34:38The C8 Corvette has finally emerged from cover.

Half a century after Apollo, why haven’t we 2019-07-19 07:15:19After we beat the Soviets in 1969, there wasn't much left to prove.

Top Technology News --

Eco-friendly composite catalyst and ultrasound removes pollutants from 2019-07-19 13:55:46Scientists have developed a wastewater treatment process that uses a common agricultural byproduct to effectively remove pollutants and environmental

Bridging the nanoscale gap: A deep look inside 2019-07-19 13:55:37A team of researchers has gained unprecedented insight into the inner workings of an atomic switch. By investigating the composition of the tiny metal

Smart irrigation model predicts rainfall to conserve water 2019-07-19 13:55:30A predictive model combining information about plant physiology, real-time soil conditions and weather forecasts can help make more informed decisions

Atomically precise models improve understanding of fuel cells 2019-07-19 10:21:50Simulations from researchers in Japan provide new insights into the reactions occurring in solid-oxide fuel cells by using realistic atomic-scale mode

Flexible user interface distribution for ubiquitous multi-device interaction 2019-07-19 10:21:48Researchers have developed mobile software platform technology that allows a mobile application (app) to be executed simultaneously and more dynamical

Successful application of machine learning in the discovery 2019-07-19 10:21:33As a powerful example of how artificial intelligence (AI) can accelerate the discovery of new materials, scientists in Japan have designed and verifie

This deep neural network fights deepfakes 2019-07-19 10:21:14Researchers have developed a deep neural network architecture that can identify manipulated images at the pixel level with high precision by studying

X-ray mapping enhances potential of lightweight magnesium 2019-07-19 10:21:07Engineers have discovered a technique for creating stronger, lightweight magnesium alloys. This finding could be of significant benefit to the automob

Astronauts less likely to faint on Earth if 2019-07-19 08:02:09Up to two hours of endurance and resistance exercises daily during a long space flight mission, combined with IV fluid replacement after landing, help

Researchers use Twitter and AI to see who 2019-07-18 16:48:46A new study used machine learning to find and comb through exercise-related tweets from across the United States, unpacking regional and gender differ

Metal oxide-infused membranes could offer low-energy alternative for 2019-07-18 15:09:41Researchers are working on membranes that could separate chemicals without using energy-intensive distillation processes.

New laws of attraction: Scientists print magnetic liquid 2019-07-18 14:54:05Scientists have made a new material that is both liquid and magnetic, opening the door to a new area of science in magnetic soft matter. The new mater


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.