Last year in December 2016, the four companies, namely Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft, disclosed the creation of a shared industry hash database. The sharing of hashes allowed the group to search for terror accounts. Now again, on Monday, these four technology giants made a similar move by forming an alliance to fight against terrorism online. This newly formed alliance is known as the Global Internet Forum.
“The new forum builds on initiatives including the EU Internet Forum and the Shared Industry Hash Database; discussions with the UK government; and the conclusions of the recent G7 and European Council meetings. It will formalize and structure existing and future areas of collaboration between our companies and foster cooperation with smaller tech companies, civil society groups and academics, governments and supra-national bodies such as the EU and the UN,” they said in a note on Twitter blog.
The Forum also stated that they would collectively work on engineering solutions to the questions by distributing the finest technological and operational elements to face the issue.
Apart from these founding members, the forum will also include other companies to work together on technology solutions, research, and knowledge sharing. These four tech giants have already partnered with other firms like Centrer for Strategic and International Studies, Anti-Defamation League and Global Network Initiative to analyze intolerance and online hate without affecting the privacy and freedom of expression of users.
The companies will also form an alliance with the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Directorate (UN CTED) and the ICT4Peace Initiative that enables them to create a broad knowledge-sharing network to link with small companies, and develop the best practices and counter-speech initiatives.
While each of them has counter-speech initiatives launched recently, such as YouTube’s Creators for Change, Jigsaw’s Redirect Method, Facebook’s P2P and OCCI, Microsoft’s partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue for counter-narratives on Bing, and Twitter’s global NGO training program.
The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism here is creating a formal bureaucracy for improving that database. It further solidifies the relationship between the four companies in their fight against hostile terrorist groups and violent extremists.