Social media giants working to remove terrorist content from their platforms

Vastavam web: Social media giants Facebook, Google’s YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft said on Monday they were forming a global working group to combine their efforts to remove terrorist content from their platforms.Responding to pressure from governments in Europe and the United States after a spate of militant attacks, the companies said they would share technical solutions for removing terrorist content, commission research to inform their counter-speech efforts and work more with counter-terrorism experts. The move comes on the heels of last week’s call from European heads of state for tech firms to establish an industry forum and develop new technology and tools to improve the automatic detection and removal of extremist content.

The political pressure on the companies has raised the prospect of new legislation at EU level, but so far only Germany has proposed a law fining social media networks up to 50 million euros ($56 million) if they fail to remove hateful postings quickly. The lower house of the German parliament is expected to vote on the law this week.The companies will also exchange best practices on content detection techniques using machine learning as well as define “standard transparency reporting methods for terrorist content removals.”

Google announced additional measures to identify and remove terrorist or violent extremist content on its video-sharing platform YouTube shortly thereafter.Twitter suspended 376,890 accounts for violations related to the promotion of terrorism in the second half of 2016 and will share further updates on its efforts to combat violent extremism on its platform in its next Transparency Report.The social media firms said they would work with smaller companies to help them tackle extremist content and organizations.