Taking down terrorist content and engaging with the biggest web companies is how the European Commission’s Internet Forum will tackle Daesh (Islamic State) terrorism online.
It was a year ago when the European Commission launched EU Internet Forum, an initiative to tackle terrorist content online.
The idea came after Paris attacks of 2015 and today, weeks after the first anniversary and nine months after Brussels attacks, the second high-level meeting of the EU Internet Forum was held in Brussels.
The European Commission was represented by Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King, while the two politicians were joined by key internet companies.
Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Microsoft participation make the difference
The EU Internet Forum’s work will now allow participating companies to use hashes to detect terrorist images and videos, review the material against their respective policies and definitions, and remove matching content as appropriate.
The initial contribution on behalf of the European Commission to the programme is of €10m, in order to be able to support civil society in increasing the volume and the effectiveness of effective, alternative narratives online.
“Working with key internet companies such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Microsoft, we have established a new tool, a sort of database, to make sure that such marked terrorist content never reappears online,” said Avramopoulos, welcoming the engagement of these companies.
Commissioner King endorsed the work of Europol. He said “thanks to Europol’s IRU referrals, 20,000 pages taken down in the last year”.
However, King acknowledged this is a “drop in the ocean,” suggesting that more resources are needed so the work can be scaled up to hundreds of thousands of pages.
“Only a week ago Europol led a specific two-day project with a number of Member States to identify material to be referred. Nearly 2,000 pieces were assessed – in a couple days,” King added.