Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Tech giants team up to fight extremism following cries that they allow terrorism
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft have created a joint forum to counter terrorism following years of criticisms that the technology corporations have failed to block violent extremists and propaganda on their platforms. The Silicon Valley companies announced the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism on Monday, saying the collaboration would focus on technological solutions, research and partnerships with governments and civic groups.
The tech firms have long struggled to balance their missions of supporting free speech with the need to remove and prevent the spread of terrorist content. The companies have faced intense scrutiny over the way terrorist groups have used the site for recruitment and for spreading hateful and violent messages. As part of the new forum, the companies said they would share best practices regarding “content detection and classification techniques using machine learning” and “define standard transparency reporting methods for terrorist content removals”. Through a partnership with a United Nations counter-terrorism committee and a range of organizations, the tech firms said they would also “identify how best to counter extremism and online hate, while respecting freedom of expression and privacy”.
In December, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft unveiled a similar information-sharing initiative, pledging to work together to created a database of unique digital fingerprints known as “hashes” for videos and images that promote terrorism. That means when one firm flags and removes a piece of content that features violent terrorist imagery or a recruitment video, the other companies could use the hash to identify and take down the same content on their platforms.
Source: The Guardian