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December 6, 2016

Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft launch crack down on terrorist content

The companies will create a shared database to uniquely identify terror content.

By CBR Staff Writer

Tech-giants Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft are partnering in efforts to stop the online spread of terrorist content.

The companies have committed to creating a database of terrorist organisations, their imagery, videos and more with unique digital “fingerprints”, once these are removed from their services.

The tech giants say that they will share this information to identify potential terrorist content hosted on their respective consumer platforms. This sharing can improve the efficiency in curbing terrorist content online.

As part of the effort, the companies will identify the most extreme terrorist images and videos that have been removed and share their unique characteristics or “fingerprints”. Participating companies can also add hashes of terrorist images or videos that are identified on one of the platforms to the database.

digital fingerprint terrorist content

These hashes can also be used by other participating companies to identify terrorist content on their respective platforms and remove matching content based on their policies.

Facebook said: “As we continue to collaborate and share best practices, each company will independently determine what image and video hashes to contribute to the shared database. No personally identifiable information will be shared, and matching content will not be automatically removed.

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“Each company will continue to apply its own policies and definitions of terrorist content when deciding whether to remove content when a match to a shared hash is found. And each company will continue to apply its practice of transparency and review for any government requests, as well as retain its own appeal process for removal decisions and grievances.

“As part of this collaboration, we will all focus on how to involve additional companies in the future.”

Facebook also noted that, throughout the collaboration, the group is committed to protecting its respective users’ privacy and their freedom of expression.

The group also wants to engage with a wider community of interested stakeholders in a transparent and responsible manner while continuing to prevent the spread of terrorist content online.

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