Google asks tech firms to help curb terror content online

Published: Dec 21, 2018, 21:30 IST | IANS

To enhance the understanding of the latest trends in online terrorist propaganda, GIFCT has been working with a research network led by the Royal United Services Institute

Representational Image
Representational Image

Despite forging collaborations to stop terror content online, we have much more to do and more tech companies must join to responsibly address terrorist content online, Google has said.

In June 2017, senior representatives from Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube came together to form the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), a coalition to share information on how to best curb the spread of terrorism online.

"We understand that we must responsibly lead the way in developing new technologies and standards for identifying and removing harmful terrorist content," said Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Global Affairs and Chair of GIFCT, in a blog post late on Thursday.

"Over the past year and a half, the forum also engaged smaller businesses around the world to discuss their unique needs and to share ways to responsibly address terrorist content online.

"With the UN's counter-terrorism directorate and the UN-initiated 'TechAgainstTerrorism' programme, we've worked with more than 100 tech companies on four continents," said Walker.

To enhance the understanding of the latest trends in online terrorist propaganda, GIFCT has been working with a research network led by the Royal United Services Institute.

"We are speaking with its network of eight think tanks around the world about how terrorist networks operate online, the ethics of content moderation, and the interplay between online content and offline actions," said Google.

That network will publish 10 academic papers over the next six months to benefit everyone working on the problem of terrorist content online.

Together with Google.org, the forum launched a $5 million innovation fund to counter hate and extremism. The fund gives grants to nonprofits that are countering hate, both online and offline.

"These are significant developments for the industry, but we know we have much more to do," said Walker.

"We will continue to expand our membership, vastly increase the size of our database of hashes, and do even more to help small companies and academic websites responsibly address terrorist content," he added.

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