On Monday, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which will help make their hosted consumer services hostile to terrorists and violent extremists.
In a joint statement, they stated, “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.”
The scope of the work will evolve over time as the companies will need to be responsive to the ever-evolving terrorist and extremist tactics. Initially, their work will focus on:
Technological solutions: The companies will work together to refine and improve existing joint technical work, such as the Shared Industry Hash Database; exchange best practices as we develop and implement new content detection and classification techniques using machine learning; and define standard transparency reporting methods for terrorist content removals.
Research: They will commission research to inform counter-speech efforts and guide future technical and policy decisions around the removal of terrorist content.
Knowledge-sharing: They will work with counter-terrorism experts including governments, civil society groups, academics and other companies to engage in shared learning about terrorism. And through a joint partnership with the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) and the ICT4Peace Initiative, they are establishing a broad knowledge-sharing network to:
- Engage with smaller companies: The companies are looking to help smaller develop the technology and processes necessary to tackle terrorist and extremist content online.
- Develop best practices: They are partnering with organizations such as the , ad to identify how best to counter extremism and online hate, while respecting freedom of expression and privacy.
- Counter-speech: Each of the companies has robust counter-speech initiatives in place (e.g., YouTube’s Creators for Change, Jigsaw’s Redirect Method, Facebook’s P2P and OCCI, Microsoft’s partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue for counter-narratives on Bing, Twitter’s global NGO training program). The forum they have established would enable them to learn from and contribute to one another’s counter-speech efforts, and discuss how to further empower and train civil society organizations and individuals who may be engaged in similar work and support ongoing efforts such as the Civil society empowerment project (CSEP).
They further revealed that they will be hosting a series of learning workshops in partnership with UN CTED/ICT4Peace in Silicon Valley and around the world to drive these areas of collaboration.
Did you find this article informative? Kindly like, comment and share!