US tech giants join forces against terror content

Geronimo Vena
Giugno 27, 2017

Hence the announcement of the "Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism" to "formalise and structure existing and future areas of collaboration between our companies and foster cooperation with smaller tech companies, civil society groups and academics, governments and supra-national bodies such as the European Union and the United Nations".

While the Global Forum to Combat Terrorism is new, these four companies have in the past partnered to combat terrorism online.

Twitter (TWTR) and the YouTube unit of Alphabet (GOOGL) on Monday announced a joint effort to counter terrorism, aiming to make it hard for terrorists and violent extremists to use their networks.

Facebook, Microsoft, YouTube and Twitter have formed the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism to address the "critical challenge" posed by the spread of terrorism online.

Members will also share their research efforts and "work with counter-terrorism experts including governments, civil society groups, academics and other companies to engage in shared learning about terrorism".

Each of the technology giants has been working individually to prevent its platforms or services from being used to promote or spread extremist views.

Specifically, the GIFCT aims to leverage technological solutions, such as the Shared Industry Hash Database and machine vision-based detection systems, with people-based knowledge-sharing schemes as part of a joint partnership with the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) and the ICT4Peace Initiative.

"'The scope of our work will evolve over time as we will need to be responsive to the ever-evolving terrorist and extremist tactics", it said. A portion of this training will cover key strategies for executing counterspeech programs like YouTube's Creators for Change and Facebook's P2P and OCCI.

Facebook has had recent missteps, too, including inadvertently exposing the identities of content moderators tasked with banning terrorist groups from its platform earlier this month.

The group says it plans to host workshops in Silicon Valley and around the world to facilitate their new efforts.

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