FaceBook as a Recruiter

This happened to me three days ago on FaceBook.  In today’s world with Social Media’s potential use to recruit and radicalize we all need to be vigilant. While I was sleeping I somehow ‘accepted’ a New Friend.  Now I was sleeping, so of course I did not accept a new friend.  So, when I did go to FaceBook I looked at my ‘new friend’ profile.  She was a very young, lovely, Muslim women.  Since I have ‘real’ friends of all faiths, I thought maybe I did know her.  I did not.  I looked at her profile briefly. It was all about inviting me to learn about Islam, and about some faults of western culture. While I thought it was odd to have a new friend who I didn’t approve, I considered this could be a new learning experience.

I went to look at the page that shows new requests, and  shows people who I might want to invite as friends.  That page was FLOODED with males with names like Akbar and Mohammed and other middle Eastern names.  I counted about two dozen, and then stopped counting.

The pictures of these new ‘possible’ friends included some women and a child, a young girl, but mostly men. I briefly looked at a few profiles, which seemed to be designed to recruit and radicalize.   I decided to do two things.  One, I blocked my ‘new friend’.  Two, I reported the incident to FaceBook.  Three days later Facebook did something and all those middle eastern names who must have been linked to my ‘new friend” were gone!  Those  names were gone from from my new requests/or possible new friends.

In light of the terrorism that is linked to ‘lone terrorist’ and ‘how’ such people are recruited I wanted you all to know what I experienced.  Somehow, I was ‘friended’ without any action from me, or approval.  Once that happened there was an immediate network of people, dozens of people, dozens of potential new friends inviting me, or facebook suggesting to me about these potential new friends.

Imagine what all these new friends can mean to a disturbed person. It looks like there is an efficient, well organized group using Facebook to help them recruit.  Interesting that FaceBook, upon my report, was able to remove all those names, but it took a few days I think.  TROUBLE IS, an unhappy, unbalanced person would not report this, but might just have a whole new group of friends and a new cause!