Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and You tube have embarked on a move to curb online terrorism responding to pressure from governments around the world.
The announcement by Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google-owned YouTube aims to use “digital fingerprints” to block or remove violent content or efforts to recruit social media users for attack cells.
“There is no place for content that promotes terrorism on our hosted consumer services. When alerted, we take swift action against this kind of content in accordance with our respective policies,” said a statement issued by the firms.
The companies said that together they will create a shared industry database that will be used to identify this content, including what they describe as the “most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos” that have been removed from their respective services.
They will do this by logging hashes, digital identifiers that are unique to each piece of content. Once a hash is added to the database, each company will make its own decision about whether to remove that particular piece of content. All four companies emphasized in the press release that they remain committed to protecting users’ privacy and freedom of expression.