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Microsoft, Facebook, and other tech giants work together to battle extremist groups

Microsoft Logo at Ignite
Microsoft Logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism will expand its database to include more extremist organizations and content.
  • This expansion will make it easier for platforms to identify extremist content, such as calls to violence.
  • Microsoft founded the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism alongside Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube back in 2017.

Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube launched the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) in 2017. The program keeps a database that helps companies remove extremist content from platforms. Because the GIFCT began with information from the United Nations list of sanctioned groups, it has focused largely on Islamist extremist organizations up to this point. Now, it will expand to include other types of extremist organizations, including the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, and neo-Nazis.

There were specific incidents that were the GIFCT focused on as well, such as the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand in 2019, but today's announcement will lead to a significant expansion of the forum's database.

The GIFCT spoke with Reuters about the expansion.

A GIFCT spokesperson told The Verge that the forum will add three new categories of content. These will be added over the next three months and include PDFs of terrorists or violent extremists, terrorist publications, and certain links shared frequently on social networks.

Reddit, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and certain other platforms can access the GIFCT's database. This makes it easier to find and flag content that violates policies or terms of service for each respective platform. For example, a social network might ban calls to violence, so a manifesto by a violent extremist group could be removed.

As explained by Reuters, the GIFCT will expand its list to include more extremist groups, including those identified by the Five Eyes international intelligence partnership and the UN Tech Against Terrorism initiative. As a result, several right-wing extremists groups will be added to the program's list.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

13 Comments
  • Finally someone will stand up to blm!
  • ^ Trump voter who is cool with violent attacks on Capitol Hill ^
  • I think it's awful, just like blm burning cities and murdering people. Both sides need addressed
  • That's not BLM doing that
  • Compares one attack to hundreds of attacks and millions of dollars destroyed. 😆😂
  • You are just ignorant.
  • High chance they will use this agents worker's.
    They will be like workers taking back the money we rich stole from them. Well there extremist. 😑
  • Just waiting for the inevitable moronic com--oh there they are.
  • The capitol rioters are also awful. Just saying they should go after the bad on both sides.
  • I absolutely agree with you on that. Plenty of bad actors out there.
  • With great power comes great responsibility...
  • Hopefully, BLM and Antifa are added to the list or already on the list along with the other extremist groups as well.
  • More big tech getting to bed with government. King George would have been so proud.