Tech companies must commit to tackling extremism


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By Nikita Malik

Better late than never. The announcement that four major technology platforms — Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Microsoft — will create a new Global Internet Forum to counter terrorism has been a long time coming. Until recently, the onus of removing and reporting content that is classified as hateful, problematic, or extremist has fallen on the consumers themselves. This is far from effective. The result is extremist material that can be online for weeks, months, or year before it is taken down.

Research from the Henry Jackson Society found that the time taken from consuming non-violent extremist material to actually committing a violent attack can be as short as two weeks. As a result, the longer we let extremist material remain online, the more we increase the risk of exposing young and vulnerable people to potential harm. Take the hate preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril, for example. A simple search reveals that videos of his views are still available on YouTube. This content is no longer updated, not because YouTube has prevented him from doing so but because he has been banned from doing so on a legal basis. We must remember that it was Jibril’s videos that played a part in the radicalisation of Khuram Butt, one of the London Bridge attackers.

Read more at The Times, here


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