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BizReport : Law & Regulation : June 27, 2017

Social media platform collaboration against extremist content

Four social media platforms are setting aside commercial rivalries and pulling together to form an anti-terror compact dedicated to tackling extremist content being spread from their platforms.

by Helen Leggatt

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube have announced they will collaborate in the development of technical solutions and creation of more tools to deal with extremist content.

The new body - The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism - comes amid increasing political pressure from governments in the U.S. and Europe following increased terrorist activity. Recently, Germany proposed to levy fines of up to $56 million against social networks which fail to remove hate speech.

The body will "formalize 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 supranational bodies such as the EU and the UN".

Specific goals outlined include "standard transparency reporting methods" for terrorist content removal and commissioning research related to the removal of such material to help guide future policy and technical decisions.

At the end of 2016, the same group unveiled a similar information-sharing initiative to create a database of unique digital fingerprints known as "hashes" for videos and images that promote terrorism (Shared Industry Hash Database). The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism will work to improve on this database.

Tags: content, social media, terrorism

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