Still a long way to go in combatting far-right extremism online


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The Henry Jackson Society today responded to comments from the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Yvette Cooper MP, on the continuing presence online of videos by the far-right group National Action.

Raising a point of order in the Commons, Yvette Cooper said that despite seven requests over the course of a year by the Select Committee and assurances that the videos would be removed, the material uploaded by National Action – a proscribed group – continues to be available online.

Tom Wilson, Research Fellow at the Centre for the Response to Radicalisation and Terrorism at the Henry Jackson Society, said:

“While the tech companies have clearly come a long way in combatting extremism on their platforms, there is a lot of work still to be done. From our research and monitoring, we have seen how in a short space of time YouTube has managed to remove much violent Islamist content. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been quite the same level of progress when it comes to countering those who seek to use YouTube to promote far-right propaganda.

“There is still a huge amount of harmful hate content being loaded onto social media by users. Tech companies need to deepen their understanding of how extremist ideologies use the online space to immerse individuals in the kinds of narratives that can lead some individuals into terrorism.

“Government needs to provide tech companies with much more robust guidelines on taking responsibility for the extreme content posted on their platforms. If they are not able to get to grips with this problem soon, then the Government may be left with no choice but to legislate.”


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