Social media kingpins join forces to counter terrorism

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft have announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.

The forum is intended to make each platform “hostile to terrorists and violent extremists”, and will see the companies share their knowledge to limit terrorist content on their platforms.

This includes technological knowledge like machine-learning software that identifies when terrorist content has been posted.

A major part of the forum will be focused on the removal of terrorist content. It intends to “guide future technical and policy decisions around removal” as well as standardise reporting methods.

The group is also investing in counter-terrorism research which will see it working with governments, civil society groups, academics and other companies. This research will be used to help smaller companies tackle terrorism. It will also aid in developing the best community guidelines and policy enforcement.

Terrorism-related content is an issue on social media, but the leading companies are teaming up to tackle the issue

Each company is already involved in its own counter-speech campaign. YouTube uses The Redirect Method to target those most susceptible to ISIS’ recruitment with adverts that debunk its recruiting themes. Facebook’s P2P ran a student competition that “reached more than 56 million people worldwide through more than 500 anti-hate and extremism campaigns”.

Microsoft has partnered with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and Twitter has a global NGO training programme.

The forum seeks to use the accrued knowledge from these efforts to help other programmes with the same purpose.

“We believe that by working together, sharing the best technological and operational elements of our individual efforts, we can have a greater impact on the threat of terrorist content online.”



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