While the social media has become an integral part of life for many who use it to connect to many other users to foster their businesses, share personal opinions and find news friend and acquaintances, some have utilized these computer-mediated technologies such as Facebook and Twitter to circulate and promote extremist posts and comments. In the light of the fight against extremist posts, tech giants, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Google have unanimously agreed to remove such contents propagating hates within hours of them being on the net.
The decision was taken after a two-day meeting among the countries that make up the G7 (which includes France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada) and the tech firms. It was hosted on the Italian Island of Ischia.
The main agenda of the meeting was to remove jihadist content from the internet within two hours. After the meeting, the G7 representative issued a statement to prove that the decision had been taken. He said:
‘We underscore the challenge to industry and we urge it…to develop solutions, to identify and remove terrorist content within one to two hours of upload, to the extent it is technically feasible, without compromising human rights and fundamental freedoms.’
According to the BBC, this is the first time, that representatives from the tech firms would be present at a G7 talk. It urged the four companies to develop solid detection tools and ensure that all contents propagating hates are removed.
The issue with hate contents has been in the spotlight for quite some time. You will recall that the UK’s Amber Rudd agitated that all terror contents must be blocked; Theresa May also warned tech firms of extremist contents; the Russian attack early this year was allegedly plotted on Telegram which reportedly has a strong end to end message encryption, making it impossible for the authority or anyone to intercept the messages shared by two people. Amidst all these, the privacy campaigners maintain that no one should be subjected to ‘privacy interference’. In fact, they took to social media to condemn May and Rudd’s judgment on the decision to make encryption more flexible for the authority.
Undoubtedly, the fastest way to promote any material is with the social media and these miscreants have taken advantage, making the cyberspace a threat to innocent users. Yet, these ‘threats’ are harder to detect.
If you are in tune with the subject of ISIS, then you will agree with me that privacy should never be substituted for protection in a situation as this.