Snap Inc joins group to counter online terrorism

When it comes to online terrorism, even rivals will put aside their differences to work together. After Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft founded the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism last month, Snap Inc has now joined the group to help halt Internet extremism.

The group help its first workshop in San Francisco on Tuesday. Technology industry and governmental representatives discussed best practices to tackle terrorism online.

Started as part of the EU Internet Forum and shared industry hash database, the GIFCT has been collecting and sharing digital content flagged as extremist for the industry to then block the upload of such content.

In a blog post shared by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, the companies stated:

Our mission is to substantially disrupt terrorists’ ability to use the internet in furthering their causes, while also respecting human rights. This disruption includes addressing the promotion of terrorism, dissemination of propaganda, and the exploitation of real-world terrorist events through online platforms.

Over the coming months, the group plans to add five more companies to its hash-sharing database, two of these already joined: Snap Inc and Justpaste.it.

In addition, it plans to reach at least 50 companies to share best practices to counter digital terrorism through the Tech Against Terrorism project in partnership with ICT4Peace and the UN Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate. It further seeks to conduct three additional workshops.

Google and Facebook have already been discussing the use of artificial intelligence to identify and remove extremist content from their networks. This would certainly relieve the human emotional toll from sifting through thousands of offensive or extremist posts. Additional companies could follow to develop technologies which can support the fight to end digital terrorism.