Today, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which will help the companies make their hosted consumer services hostile to terrorists.
The spread of terrorism and violent extremism is a pressing global problem and a challenge. Each company has developed policies and removal practices that enable them to take a hard line against terrorist or violent extremist content on their hosted consumer services. The companies believe that by working together, sharing technological and operational elements of their individual efforts, they can have a greater impact on the threat of terrorist content online.
The new forum builds on initiatives including the EU Internet Forum and the Shared Industry Hash Database; discussions with the U.K. and other governments; and the conclusions of the recent G7 and European Council meetings. It will formalize and structure existing and future areas of collaboration between the companies and foster cooperation with smaller tech companies, civil society groups and academics, governments and supra-national bodies such as the EU and the U.N.
Initially, the companies will work together to refine and improve existing joint technical work, such as the Shared Industry Hash Database; exchange best practices as they develop and implement new content detection and classification techniques using machine learning; and define standard transparency reporting methods for terrorist content removals.
The companies will also will commission research to inform their counter-speech efforts and guide future technical and policy decisions around the removal of terrorist content.
Through a joint partnership with the U.N. Security Council Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (U.N. CTED) and the ICT4Peace Initiative, the companies are establishing a broad knowledge-sharing network to help smaller companies develop the technology and processes necessary to tackle terrorist and extremist content online.
A series of learning workshops will be hosted in partnership with U.N. CTED/ICT4Peace in Silicon Valley and around the world to drive these areas of collaboration.