In the wake of the recently increasing wave of terrorist attacks all over the world, social media companies have been under increasing pressure from governments and human rights organisations to block extremist content and videos that surface online.
Terrorist organizations such as ISIS have been tech savvy to spread their extremist and radical ideology and also for recruitment of new militants.
With the recent attacks in Paris and Belgium, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other websites have come under immense pressure for not doing enough to identify and eliminate extremist content from their websites.
According to reports, President Barack Obama, himself made an appeal to social media giants asking for help in preventing terrorist attacks by monitoring hateful content on their respective websites and removing any terrorist or violent propaganda aimed at inciting communal disharmony or violence of any sort.
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube had until recently relied upon users to flag content they found offensive or threatening and then reviewed and deleted the content, if necessary.
Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft now have come together to develop a new technology that will automatically delete content identified as inappropriate and also flag attempts to repost that content online.
It looks for ‘hashes’, a unique digital fingerprint which is automatically assigned to certain videos by internet companies. This allows all videos with matching fingerprints to be removed easily in no time.
It was originally developed to prevent the leak of copyright protected material online but now is being applied to avert terrorist attacks and the spread of terrorist propaganda through social media.
Companies are tight lipped about this new measure so as to not provide a heads up to terrorist organizations that may learn to manoeuvre around it.