World’s top social networks and media services, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, have been called by UK Prime Minister Theresa May to cut down and remove content which promotes terrorism and hate.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, will on Wednesday urge internet firms to go ‘further and faster’ to stop the spread of terrorist material -including the development of new technology to stop it from ever appearing on the web in the first place.
Separately the Government is also talking to Amazon and Ebay about the sale of items on their websites could help terrorists launch attacks.
Official figures show that 54,000 different websites containing advice on bomb making, and committing attacks using trucks and knives, were posted online by supporters of the so-called Islamic State group between August last year and May this year.
The first two hours after terrorist content has been posted is crucial as this is the time span when two thirds of the propaganda is shared, according to Google’s analysts.
Mrs May, with President Emmanuel Macron of France and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy, are meeting with the internet companies at the margins of the UN general assembly in New York on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister will say: “Terrorist groups are aware that links to their propaganda are being removed more quickly, and are placing a greater emphasis on disseminating content at speed in order to stay ahead.
“Industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online, and developing technological solutions which prevent it being uploaded in the first place.”
Speaking ahead of the event, Mrs May said: “We need a fundamental shift in the scale and nature of our response – both from industry and governments – if we are to match the evolving nature of terrorists’ use of the internet.
“I call on others to join the UK, France, and Italy in pledging their support for this approach.
“This is a global problem that transcends national interests. Governments must work with and support the efforts of industry and civil society if we are to achieve real and continuing progress and prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist use of cyberspace.
“In order to succeed, we must be united in our determination to fight terrorist exploitation of the internet.”
Wednesday’s meeting follows pressure from the PM for action at the G7 summit in Italy earlier this year.
Officials want to shrink the time when the propaganda is shared from two hours, to one hour and then to outlaw it altogether.