Facebook, Twitter, YouTube team up to tackle terror content

According to the companies, they will create a shared industry database of “hashes” — unique digital “fingerprints” — for violent terrorist imagery.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
December 6, 2016 14:55
1 minute read.
A 3-D PLASTIC representation of the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube logos is displayed in front an Isi

A 3-D PLASTIC representation of the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube logos is displayed in front an Isis flag. Islamic State is considered a pioneer among terrorist organizations regarding innovation in the cyber world.. (photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS)

Social media giants Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube announced a collaboration on Tuesday aimed at curbing the spread of terrorist content online.

According to the companies, they will create a shared industry database of “hashes” – unique digital “fingerprints” – for violent terrorist imagery, terrorist recruitment videos or images that have removed from their services that they will then share with one another.

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“By sharing this information with each other, we may use the shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on our respective hosted consumer platforms,” the companies said. “We hope this collaboration will lead to greater efficiency as we continue to enforce our policies to help curb the pressing global issue of terrorist content online.”

The database will be open to all of the companies. Each individual company will then be able to review a “hash” according to their own content policies and decide whether or not to remove something that another company has already removed.

“Throughout this collaboration, we are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and their ability to express themselves freely and safely on our platforms,” the companies said. “We also seek to engage with the wider community of interested stakeholders in a transparent, thoughtful and responsible way as we further our shared objective to prevent the spread of terrorist content online while respecting human rights.”

The move comes as Israel and other countries have increased their criticism of social media companies – particularly Facebook and Twitter – for not being more proactive in reducing the amount of terrorist-related content.

In September, top executives from Facebook visited Israel and met with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to discuss ways to increase collaboration between Israeli security services and the social media company. Erdan and Shaked had, in the past, promoted legislation aimed at penalizing Facebook if it failed to remove incendiary content from its platform.


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