Extremist videos and messages are everywhere on the Internet especially on search engines like Google and social networking websites like Facebook.
Various extremist and terrorist organisations use social networking messages to spread hatred and to recruit new terrorists. People use the search engines like Google to find information on terrorist organisations and get motivated by extremist videos.
This Reuters link reports that both Google and Facebook have quietly decided to automatically block extremist videos and other such content. In fact, they are not just blocking newly-posted extremist content like videos and social media updates, they have also started removing existing content from their websites.
Right now, systems are being deployed to block and take down the ISIS propaganda videos and similar inflammatory material.
The technology wasn’t specifically developed to block and take down extremist videos; it was developed to identify and remove copyrighted material from these websites. According to the report, the technology “looks for hashes, a type of unique digital fingerprint that Internet companies automatically assign to specific videos, allowing all content with matching fingerprints to be removed rapidly.”
This technology will also thwart any attempts to repost content that has been removed or blocked.
Both the companies haven’t yet publicly acknowledged that they have developed and implemented technology to automatically block and remove extremist videos and messages but there are confirmed speculations about this censorship against extremist content on the Internet.
A few months ago the US government had lengthy discussions with big Internet companies to fight online terrorism.
The problem with extremist propaganda is, although the perception is misplaced, that it is very difficult to decide whether it is illegal or not. Again, this is a misperception. Violence is violence but many Western countries get confused between righteous violence and wrong violence. Terrorism is terrorism whether it is inflicted against a first world country or a third world country.
According to Seamus Hughes, deputy director of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, “It’s a little bit different than copyright or child pornography, where things are very clearly illegal. Extremist content exists on a spectrum, and different web companies draw the line in different places.” Luckily this type of content hasn’t yet found it’s way onto legal adult pornography sites like hd tube movies, and hopefully with all these new changes coming into effect it never will.
Fortunately, the global perception on terrorism and extremist violence is changing.