Twitter, FB, Microsoft, YouTube to Create Database to Curb Online Extremism

World (Sputnik) – Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube agreed to create a shared database of extremist materials to curb the spread of terrorist content online, a joint press release said.

According to the statement, the partnership implies that participating companies would be able to determine independently what image or video hashes to contribute to the database. It has also stressed that no personal information would be shared and matching content would not be automatically removed.

“Starting today, we commit to the creation of a shared industry database of ‘hashes’ — unique digital ‘fingerprints’ — for violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images that we have removed from our services. By sharing this information with each other, we may use the shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on our respective hosted consumer platforms,” the statement issued on Monday said.

Daesh has been actively using social media to promote its values globally, thus, attracting new recruits. The terrorists reportedly used Twitter and Telegram, in particular, for communication before Paris attacks in November 2015. Telegram channels have also served as a propaganda platform for terrorists.

There have been different approaches to countering the Islamic State on Internet, including massive state surveillance and raids of social media against terrorist accounts. Since mid-2015 through August 2016 Twitter has suspended 235,000 accounts for violation of its policies regarding the promotion of terrorism and violent threat.

This report prepared by Sputnik.