The FBI Should Monitor Games More To ‘Police Extremism’, Report Says

fbi games

Recently, a report surfaced online revealing the US government’s desire to more rigorously police social media and online gaming platforms with a mission to root out extremism and domestic terrorism. In a joint effort between the likes of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, several key players in the gaming market have been identified, and while they’ve been in leagues with these organisations for several years, there’s an ask to step up the depth of monitoring and collaboration across these platforms.

Big Brother

In the report published at the end of February by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and subsequently shared by The Intercept, it was noted that domestic terrorists and extremists ‘often use online platforms – such as social media and gaming – to communicate radical ideas to a wide audience and mobilise likeminded people’.

It was stated that gaming and social companies such as Discord, Epic Games, Riot, Roblox, and Activision Blizzard already use content moderation tools to monitor and take action against content that violates their respective terms of service, and many of these organisations have for many years worked with the FBI and the DHS to combat ‘violent extremism’ across the global gaming network.

Out of the back of the GAO’s report, two actions were recommended, suggesting that both the FBI and the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (both in the United States) put in place ‘a strategy and goals for sharing information related to domestic violent extremism with social media and gaming companies.’ That’s step one – in The Intercept’s article, a concept was mentioned that would see artificial intelligence put to use to proactively identify ‘those sorts of conversations’ that are happening on these platforms that accommodate tens of millions of users.

On some platforms, voice communications are already monitored and are looking for abusive players or malicious operators, so that’s not a new concept. In 2021, it was acknowledged by the White House that ‘online gaming platforms’ are a hotbed for ‘recruiting and mobilising individuals’ with a focus on domestic terrorism. While social media platforms have been monitored for years for this kind of behaviour, online games have crept under the wire, in some respects.

It’s intense, but let’s not pretend that anything we do on an online gaming platform is anonymous and unrecorded.

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