While terrorists have been creating havoc around the world, taking a step to curb terrorist propaganda, the social media giants namely Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube have announced in a joint blog that the companies will be coming together to help suppress the spread of terrorist content online.
This might be an important step as terrorists have been known to use social media to communicate with each other extensively. It has also increasingly become a tool for recruiting and radicalization by the Islamic State group and others.
Following such activities, the social media companies have said that there is no place for content that promotes terrorism on their hosted consumer services.
So when the companies are alerted, they will be taking swift action against such kind of content in accordance with their respective policies.
Use of Digital Fingerprints
The firms have stated that there will be creating a shared industry database of "hashes" or unique digital "fingerprints" for violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images that will make it easier for the platforms to identify and remove the imagery or any other potential terrorist contents.
The blog post further revealed that this collaboration would lead to greater efficiency as the firms will continue to enforce their policies to help curb the pressing global issue of terrorist content online.
Reviewed Independently by Each Company
Now with the launch of this initiative, the companies will begin sharing hashes of the most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos whose content will most likely violate all of the respective companies' content policies.
Nonetheless, content flagged by the database will not be automatically removed from the platforms, the companies said. Instead, it will be reviewed independently by each company to determine whether it violates the company's terms of service.
Privacy will be Maintained
On the other hand, the companies have assured that no personally identifiable information would be shared.
The companies have ensured that they are committed to protecting the users' privacy and their ability to express themselves freely and safely on the different social platforms.
Involving Additional Companies
As part of this collaboration, the companies are also focusing on how to involve additional companies in the future.
They have said that they will be seeking to engage with the wider community of interested stakeholders in a transparent, thoughtful and responsible way to prevent the spread of terrorist content online while respecting human rights.