Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to Fight Terrorism

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, April 4, 2013. Zuckerberg says the company is not building a phone or an operating system. Rather, Facebook is introducing a new experience for Android phones. The idea behind the new Home service is to bring content right to you, rather than require people to check apps on the device. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, along with Microsoft, said Monday that their companies joined hands to develop a shared database of images and videos that promote terrorism. The database will store and share among partners the “hashes” or unique digital fingerprints of radical media that they have deleted as it violates their policy.

“By sharing this information with one another, we will use our shared technologies to identify potential terrorist content on our respective hosted consumer platforms,” the companies said in a statement. “We hope this collaboration will lead to greater would result in substantial results as we continue to enforce our policies to help curb the pressing global issue of terrorist content online.”

Social media sites have become a popular conduit for terrorist groups to share their ideas and make people join their movements.

All these companies have strict rules against posting hate speech and will remove such content and accounts when they’re discovered. But the task of going through the billions and billions of bytes of data is definitely difficult.

A lawsuit filed in June accused Facebook, Twitter and Google of providing “material support” to terrorist groups. Reynaldo Gonzalez, whose daughter Nohemi was among the 130 people killed in the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, charged that the three tech companies “knowingly allowed the terrorists to utilize their social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits.”

Images added to the database will not be auto-banned. Each company will contribute images and base their decisions on whether to remove content that matches a shared hash based on their own policies and concept of what comes under ‘terrorist content’.

The group stated that they hope to add more companies into the cause to help fight the treat of terrorism.

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