Tech giants pledge unprecedented action to tackle terrorist content

In a nine-point agreement due to be released overnight, the first of its kind, the competing multi-billion dollar businesses pledge to reconsider livestreaming safeguards and to work together to develop tools to improve the detection of extremist violent content.

A joint statement from the companies, released to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, said the horrifying nature of the attacks in New Zealand meant it was “right that we come together, resolute in our commitment to ensure we are doing all we can to fight the hatred and extremism that lead to terrorist violence”.

The competing companies said they would develop new technology, and collaborate with global governments, including sharing data, in an effort to improve machine learning and artificial intelligence as well as developing open source and shared digital tools.

A “crisis protocol” would also be put into place to respond to new urgent events, with information to be shared among the companies, governments and non-government organisations. Each company has agreed to create an incident management team to coordinate and share information.

After the Christchurch massacre was livestreamed, the tech giants grappled to keep the video from appearing online after different versions were uploaded millions of times across platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, as part of a “Christchurch Call” pledge supported by a swathe of countries, has asked the social media giants to take a closer look at any software directing people to violent content and has pushed for examination of their algorithms. British Prime Minister Theresa May has also called for action from the social media giants.

This content was originally published here.