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Noah Berger / AP

Facebook makes significant use of artificial intelligence — as well as many human employees — to spot and combat terrorist use of its platform, it said in a rundown of its efforts published Thursday. The key points:

  • The company deploys artificial intelligence to detect when people try to repost photos and videos associated with terrorism, when the text of a post may be "advocating for terrorism" and when there are "new fake accounts created by repeat offenders."
  • Over 150 of its employees are "are exclusively or primarily focused on countering terrorism as their core responsibility," and are better able to determine when law enforcement needs to be alerted than A.I.

Why it matters: Facebook, Google, and Twitter are under extreme pressure from governments around the world to help in the fight against violent extremists who use the platforms. The leaders of France and Great Britain, for example, are exploring whether sites should be legally liable when they don't remove extremist content.

Go deeper

Virginia lawmakers vote to legalize marijuana in 2024

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Lawmakers in Virginia on Saturday approved compromise legislation that would legalize marijuana in 2024, putting the state a step closer to becoming the first in the South to end prohibition on the drug, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Why it matters: The legislation will make Virginia the 16th state to legalize marijuana, per Politico. It would add to a slate of laws that have seen Virginia move in a more progressive direction during the tenure of Gov. Ralph Northam.

Scammers seize on COVID confusion

Data: FTC; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Scamming has skyrocketed in the past year, and much of the increase is attributed to COVID-related scams, more recently around vaccines.

Why it matters: The pandemic has created a prime opportunity for scammers to target people who are already confused about the chaotic rollouts of things like stimulus payments, loans, contact tracing and vaccines. Data shows that older people who aren't digitally literate are the most vulnerable.

13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.