Microsoft has teamed up with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to fight terrorism-related activities online. Together, they’ll pool their resources and create a kind of shared database which can be used to track suspected terrorist activities and related organizations and individuals.
The four companies said of the agreement in a joint announcement today, “Our companies will begin sharing hashes of the most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos we have removed from our services — content most likely to violate all of our respective companies’ content policies. Participating companies can add hashes of terrorist images or videos that are identified on one of our platforms to the database. Other participating companies can then use those hashes to identify such content on their services, review against their respective policies and definitions, and remove matching content as appropriate.”
Working together doesn’t mean that these companies will be changing their current individual policies however. “Each company will continue to apply its own policies and definitions of terrorist content when deciding whether to remove content when a match to a shared hash is found,” the statement says before revealing that they will also be assisting the government when they can. “Each company will continue to apply its practice of transparency and review for any government requests, as well as retain its own appeal process for removal decisions and grievances. As part of this collaboration, we will all focus on how to involve additional companies in the future.”
Combatting terrorism online is obviously a good move that needed to be made but let us know what you think about these companies working together and what long-lasting effects this collaboration could have on users in the comments below.