Facebook to become a ‘hostile environment’ for terrorist ideologies and activities

Facebook to become a ‘hostile environment’ for terrorist ideologies and activities

Facebook has pledged to make its platform a ‘hostile environment’ for terrorists looking to spread their ideologies.

Facebook was blamed by Theresa May for failing ‘to rein in terrorist planning and recruitment’ following the recent terror attacks.

In a recent statement aimed directly at Facebook, Prime Minister May accused internet companies of not doing enough to rein in terrorist planning and recruitment, resulting in vicious terrorist attacks which have claimed many lives.

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“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide,” she said. “We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements to regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning.”

Adding that Britain was too tolerant of extremism, she said that all terror attacks in the recent past were “bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamic extremism” and that British values had to be established as superior.

Following the Manchester terrorist attack in May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd had lashed out at social media apps including WhatsApp which she said were providing ‘a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other.’ She had also termed usage of end-to-end encryption by social media firms as “completely unacceptable”.

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“What I have always said is the internet provides an incredibly important place for people to do business, encryption is important for banking, for everything else as you say. But we need to do better to stop terrorists being able to use it,” she said on the Andrew Marr show.

Following Theresa May’s recent outburst, Facebook has pledged to make its platform a ‘hostile environment’ for terrorists looking to spread their ideologies.

“Using a combination of technology and human review, we work aggressively to remove terrorist content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it. If we become aware of an emergency involving imminent harm to someone’s safety, we notify law enforcement,” said Simon Milner, Facebook’s Policy Director for UK, Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

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“Online extremism can only be tackled with strong partnerships. We have long collaborated with policymakers, civil society, and others in the tech industry, and we are committed to continuing this important work together,” he added.

It will be interesting to see how well Facebook will cooperate with the government in line with ‘Technical Capability Notices’ which will come into force after the elections are over. The new orders will allow the government to obtain encrypted messages and content from companies as and when required. UK firms will have to create encryption backdoors to allow government access to such data.

Copyright Lyonsdown Limited 2021

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