Big Tech database to target ‘extremist content’ from ‘white supremacists’ and ‘far right militias’: Report

Image Source: Reuters

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) will expand its database to target ‘extremist content’ shared by ‘white supremacists’ and ‘far-right militias’, Reuters has reported. Until now, the database has limited its focus on content by terrorist groups on a United Nations’ list but it will now expand operations.

The GIFCT will use lists from intelligence sharing groups such as Five Eyes to add URLs and PDFs from Proud Boys, the Three Percenters and other ‘white supremacist’ and ‘militia’ groups. “Anyone looking at the terrorism or extremism landscape has to appreciate that there are other parts…that are demanding attention right now,” GIFCT’s Executive Director Nicholas Rasmussen told Reuters.

Fourteen groups can access the database including Reddit, Snapchat-owner Snap, Facebook-owned Instagram, Verizon Media, Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Dropbox. GIFCT was formed in 2017 in light of the terror attacks in 2017. Its database contains digital imprints of posts mostly from groups on a UN Security Council Sanctions’ list.

However, there have been concerns of censorship and violation of free speech rights. “Over-achievement in this takes you in the direction of violating someone’s rights on the internet to engage in free expression,” Rasmussen said. The group was founded by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube.

The announcement comes days after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested that if someone is banned from one site, then he should be banned from others as well. She also revealed that the US Government was getting posts removed that it considered ‘disinformation’.

Psaki had said, “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. We’re working with doctors and medical experts…who are popular with their audience with accurate information. So, we’re helping get trusted content out there.”

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia