Facebook and Twitter struggle to prevent online terrorism.
Facebook and Twitter struggle to prevent online terrorism.

The members of British Parliament accused Facebook, Twitter and YouTube of “consciously failing” to combat the use of social networking sites to promote Online terrorism and fanaticism.

“Their failure to tackle this threat had left some parts of the internet ungoverned, unregulated and lawless”, the committee chairman Keith Vaz.

Vaz suggested that it’s high time the social media networks start working in alliance with the police in order to immediately eradicate terrorist activity online.This discussion was triggered after the authorities last week struggled to get online posts inviting support for Islamic State militant group by the convicted radical Islamist cleric Anjem Choudary deleted.

What do the Social media giants have to say about Online Terrorism?

According to the Guardian, the social media counterparts retorted strongly to the report, saying they considered their role seriously in combating the spread of activism.

Twitter mentioned it had barred 235,000 accounts on accord of promoting terrorism in the past six months. Facebook claimed that it dealt with reports of terrorist-related content “swiftly and robustly”.
Twitter was commended for moving swiftly to try to get the IS off its platform by the The US State Department and the French interior minister.
Though as per the report the suspension of 350,000 Twitter accounts since mid-last year and Google’s removal of 14 million videos in 2014 relating to all kinds of abuse were actually next to nothing.

“Huge corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter… are consciously failing to tackle this threat and passing the buck by hiding behind their supranational legal status, despite knowing that their sites are being used by the instigators of terror.”, Vaz said.

It was alarming they had teams of “only a few hundred” employees to monitor billions of social media accounts.Twitter did not even proactively report extremist content to the law enforcement agencies, Vaz said.

The MPs requested the British government to introduce actions that require the prominent web companies to cooperate with police’s specialist unit by rapidly investigating any hate speech sites and shutting them down, or providing an explanation as to why they have still been left online.

A round-the-clock “central hub” operation unit should be promoted in order to tackle such situation , the report recommended.

The committee also suggested that the web companies should publish their quarterly statistics showing how many sites and accounts have been taken down on this accord. Additionally, the success of the Internet Watch Foundation in tackling online child sexual abuse replicated in countering online extremism could be included.
Reacting to the report, “It was vital everyone played their part in defeating extremism.” Ben Wallace, home office security minister said.
“We are working closely with the internet companies and want to see a swifter, more automated approach to identification and removal of content from social media sites, not just in Britain but across the world,” Wallace said.


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