Facebook Monitors Your Private Messages and Photos For Criminal Activity, Reports them to Police

How would you feel knowing Facebook is rummaging around your messages?

Kristan T. Harris | The Rundown Live

Facebook has a new little known software that monitors your profile chat and pictures for criminal activity. The software will proceed to alert an employee at the company who will then decide whether to call authorities or not.

The software will monitor individuals who have a ‘loose’ relationship on social media networks, according to an interview with Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan.

Reuters interview with the security officer explains,  Facebook’s software focuses on conversations between members who have a loose relationship on the social network. For example, if two users aren’t friends, only recently became friends, have no mutual friends, interact with each other very little, have a significant age difference, and/or are located far from each other, the tool pays particular attention.

The scanning program looks for certain phrases found in previously obtained chat records from criminals, including sexual predators (because of the Reuters story, we know of at least one alleged child predator who is being brought before the courts as a direct result of Facebook’s chat scanning). The relationship analysis and phrase material have to add up before a Facebook employee actually looks at communications and makes the final decision of whether to ping the authorities.

“We’ve never wanted to set up an environment where we have employees looking at private communications, so it’s really important that we use technology that has a very low false-positive rate,” Sullivan told Reuters.

The software has been used to help gather information on potential murder suspects as well. In just one case, 62 pages of information, pictures, chat and posts where gathered and handed over to local authorities by Facebook in a recent subpoena request.

Facebook most likely wants to keep this software secret since most people do not think fondly of someone rummaging around their private messages and photos looking for criminal activities. Also how far is this system willing to go and will they soon pursue minor crimes or even thought crime?


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  • Karsus

    Well… Its an interesting question, whether Facebook should be policing people. How about we just put it to a vote, and have the whole issue be above board. Either people want Facebook doing law enforcement this way, or they don’t.

    Obviously, people being aware that Facebook does this, would just stop them from openly expressing such things on Facebook.

  • Zeus Isgreat

    Who do they report to when the police ARE the criminals?

  • 7LibertyForAll

    I became aware of this a few months after I created an account with FaceHole several years ago. I stayed on there for a few months more and then tried to delete my account, which cannot be done. That was infuriating. While there are various entities that I’d love to be in touch with via FaceHole, I will not, ever again, participate or be used in their crimes against those who use their site.

  • eagle keeper

    Fu%k facebook. Waste of time. Go away, not interested.

  • william barr

    why do they block us about military and protecting the USA

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