The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) has used Facebook ads to lure unsuspecting young men into its extremist recruitment efforts.
And with Facebook’s algorithm designed to prevent terrorist propaganda from dominating its platform, the social network is now being accused of helping these scammers spread false news and disinformation.
According to the BBC, Facebook’s algorithms are being used by ISIS to “disrupt” recruitment and recruiting efforts.
In one instance, a Facebook user, identified as Ibrahim, had posted a Facebook post asking for help identifying “a Muslim” who “was recruited by ISIS in order to kill him.”
The post contained several misleading and false claims.
In fact, Ibrahim was in fact an ex-boyfriend of an ISIL recruiter.
As an example, the post said, “This Muslim boy from Nigeria is a refugee in the U.S. who has lost his parents and is in a state of deep depression.”
But when the user’s account was removed, it was found that Ibrahim had been using a fake Facebook account to send money to the recruiter, who was living in the United States.
The fake account was also used to make false claims that ISIL was recruiting “young Muslim men from Europe,” the BBC reported.
According the report, the fake account used in the Facebook scam was also set up to make claims about “a fake Islamic organization called the Muslim Brotherhood,” which Ibrahim claimed was a “Muslim terrorist group” based in the Middle East.
The fake account had been used to send the money, the BBC said, but it was eventually traced back to Ibrahim.
Facebook says the posts that it has found are “a mistake,” and that the company “has removed all content from its platform that is inconsistent with our policies and guidelines.”
Facebook is now working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to investigate the scam.