Microsoft, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook have announced a partnership aimed at combating terrorism.
The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism builds on existing initiatives like the EU Internet Forum and the Shared Industry Hash Database.
The EU Internet Forum was launched in 2015 to bring together governments, Europol, and tech companies to prevent the spread of terrorist content and hate speech online.
Similarly, the Shared Industry Hash Database is a database of unique digital fingerprints which allows all other consumers platforms to take down terrorist images and videos once one platform flags it.
The forum is designed to strengthen cooperation between its members as well as smaller tech companies, civic groups, academics and government agencies.
In a joint press release posted on the Twitter blog, the company wrote;
“The spread of terrorism and violent extremism is a pressing global problem and a critical challenge for us all. We take these issues very seriously, and each of our companies have developed policies and removal practices that enable us to take a hard line against terrorist or violent extremist content on our hosted consumer services. 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.”Social Media Giants Created the Global Internet Forum to Counter TerrorismClick To Tweet
Scope of Work
Even though the scope of work will evolve over time, the forum’s initial focus is on technological solutions, research, and knowledge-sharing.
The forum intends to collaboratively improve existing technologies such as the Shared Industry Hash Database whilst also developing new and smarter detection techniques with the aid of Artificial Intelligence.
Additionally, the forum will work with the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) and the ICT4Peace Initiative to establish a knowledge-sharing database to engage smaller companies, develop best practices on how to counter extremism and also improve existing counter speech initiatives.
Consequently, the forum, in partnership with UN CTED/ICT4Peace will organize a series of learning workshops in Silicon Valley and across the globe to drive these initiatives.
Tech companies have often been criticized for doing less to curb violent extremism and online terrorism, a situation that is gradually becoming a serious global threat.
We believe these initiatives are a response to the increasing pressure to do something about the situation.