In an attempt to spot vulnerabilities in its system before bad actors exploit them, Facebook has hired a team of ex-intelligence officers, researchers, and media buyers, and set them loose on its products.
Facebook calls this group the “Investigative Operations Team” and has directed its members to find the worst possible things that can be done using Facebook, and to help the company prevent them.
The group, whose existence is being revealed for the first time in this story, is testing Facebook’s advertising systems, pages, Instagram, Messenger, and more. Facebook told BuzzFeed News the team is searching for troubling behavior in countries like Myanmar, examining keywords and other signals that could be used to promote violence. And it’s investigating Facebook’s merchant tools, attempting to spot problematic product sales.