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Social Media Giants Step Up Joint Fight Against Extremist Content (reuters.com) 181

Social media giants Facebook, Google's YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft said on Monday they were forming a global working group to combine their efforts to remove terrorist content from their platforms. From a report: Responding to pressure from governments in Europe and the United States after a spate of militant attacks, the companies said they would share technical solutions for removing terrorist content, commission research to inform their counter-speech efforts and work more with counter-terrorism experts. The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism "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," the companies said in a statement.
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Social Media Giants Step Up Joint Fight Against Extremist Content

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  • Sounds like... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    [THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I thought I came to Slashdot, not reddit. My mistake.

  • Sounds great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CharlesAKAChuck ( 1157011 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @10:42PM (#54696155)
    As long as they have a good definition of terrorist. And they'll need to explain the difference between terrorist and freedom fighter/revolutionary/protester.
    • Re:Sounds great... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zemran ( 3101 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @11:15PM (#54696241) Homepage Journal
      That is easy, if you disagree with the government, you are a terrorist. It is a very old definition that Stalin and lots of others have used for centuries.
      • Re:Sounds great... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @12:43AM (#54696473) Homepage

        Only government, if you mean corporate overlords who own the government that we pretend to vote for. So oppose the corporate message and you are a terrorist. The funny thing, I mean the really funny fucking thing, a dying M$ and three fad social media are trying to control humanity, not for the benefit of humanity by for their own psychopathic greed and egos.

        Take for example YouTube, all it takes is a change of mind by YouTubers ie you are not YouTuber, your video channel is not a YouTube channel, YouTube is just an empty file serving warehouse. So don't stop uploading to YouTube, what you do is run software, to upload all your video content to all video distribution sites simultaneously, effective hugely shrinking YouTube market share. Also link away from YouTube, people are going to see a video, if YouTube does not pay you for exclusivity, why provide it. YouTube is nothing without end user content, start getting that content uploaded all over the place across multiple platforms, eat into YouTubes market share.

        When it comes to twitter, seriously get over that bullshit, who gives a fuck about twitter, it only exist because the idiot twits are carried across to other media platforms, even the main stream media public relations bullshitters, without that carry across to other media platforms, twitter is dead, simply too dumb to exist.

        Facebook, meh, if you are still on it, you are yesterday's social media participant, it's the way of fad.

        • Re:Sounds great... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @03:06AM (#54696807)

          That's what is missing here. Software that uploads your video simultaneously to all video platforms. If people have to do it manually, they will shy away from the trouble of getting it out onto all of them, but provide a service that allows them to push their videos to all the video content hosters at the same time and people will do it.

          Pipe it through your own server to save them bandwidth and people will flock to that service immediately.

          • My idea to a Knight News Challenge on Libraries : https://web.archive.org/web/20... [archive.org]
            "Create a browser addon so when people post to the web they can send a copy for storage and hosting by a network of local libraries."

            Sad that the Knight News Foundation has changed their software and so all the old contributions are no longer available. Hard to respect a group like that which takes so much hard work by so many people and just dumps it. It's an example of the very thing that contribution was about -- the need

      • by Anonymous Coward

        BTW did you know Stalin was also a terrorist? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1907_Tiflis_bank_robbery

        • Re:Sounds great... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @03:08AM (#54696813)

          Nope. He was not a terrorist back then. He was just a bank robber, murderer and generally a criminal. He turned into a terrorist when he got to power.

          Terrorism isn't limited in its use to the time when you're not in power. Terrorism is simply instilling fear, anxiety or dread in people to make them comply with your wishes.

          • Terrorism is simply instilling fear, anxiety or dread in people to make them comply with your wishes.

            Most violent criminals fit this definition, no?

            • "People" being a bigger group here than the immediate victims.

            • No. Going out and murdering a bunch of people makes you a mass murderer but the politicians and media seem to have forgotten that today. They call every violent act, especially if carried out by a Muslim, a terrorist act.

              Terrorism is designed to spread a message along with the fear. That's why you see a message or group taking responsibility for the act. There are other criteria too for it to be terrorism. For example it can't be directed at a single person. A person making life hell for their spouse that d

              • Actually no. I don't know about your media, but ours are doing their best to downplay any crime committed by a Muslim. And twice so our politicians and police. Actually, our media are even getting more and more wary to give out any details of the origin of a criminal.

              • Terrorism is designed to spread a message along with the fear.

                I agree. It also gels with Schneier's brilliant article What the Terrorists Want, [schneier.com] which starts at the other end (with an implicit understanding of what terrorism is) and explores the motivation (which we use here as part of the definition).

                This definition is broad enough to include both the recent Borough Market and Finsbury Park attacks, but isn't so broad that it includes 'ordinary' murder.

              • Yes, as in U.S. Army
                • Come on then, let's have it. Explain to us why the US military is basically the moral equivalent of ISIS.

                  • Attacks victims who cannot retaliate nor defend
                    Has no concern for innocent lives as demonstrated by the "Wedding party / terrorist kill ratio"
                    Uses threat of force and killing and, in Iraq, murder to achieve political change desired by command authority
                    Makes use of remote attack disguised in the air to strike without warning.
                    • Attacks victims who cannot retaliate nor defend

                      Dropping guided bombs on ISIS fighters is the moral equivalent of machine-gunning fleeing civilians?

                      Has no concern for innocent lives as demonstrated by the "Wedding party / terrorist kill ratio"

                      False equivalence. The US military can and does sometimes decide not to act because of civilian casualties. ISIS ritually execute civilians as for their promotional material. They're actually proud of it.

                      Uses threat of force and killing and, in Iraq, murder to achieve political change desired by command authority

                      The Iraq War was a huge mistake, but there isn't a moral equivalence here. The intent of the war is not the moral equivalent of the intent of ISIS.

                      Makes use of remote attack disguised in the air to strike without warning.

                      Did I miss ISIS getting an air force?

                    • Given that the "laser guided bombs" hit the wrong targets,it follows that the two are EXACTLY the same!!
                      The intent of war is EXACTLY the same as the intent of ISIS, to impose political will upon others.
                      Predator. Do the math. Isis is not responsible for those war crimes.
                    • Given that the "laser guided bombs" hit the wrong targets,it follows that the two are EXACTLY the same!!

                      ....no, not even close. ISIS deliberately machine-gunned civilians, and do that kind of thing all the time. They're not ashamed of it, either. The US forces, on the other hand, screwed up rather badly.

                      The intent of war is EXACTLY the same as the intent of ISIS, to impose political will upon others.

                      Not all political wills are morally equivalent. Fighting to overthrow a tyrant is not morally equivalent to fighting to empower tyranny.

                      Isis is not responsible for those war crimes.

                      I get that you're full-blown bleeding heart and all, but you've honestly lost me completely.

                      Did they accidentally machine-gun fleeing civilians?

                      Did they accidentally burn a ca

                    • Ah, so your defense of our refusal to confirm "tips" and thus kill innocents is that "We just don't care"
                      Thanks for proving my point
                      Remember Gen. Smedley Butler " War is a racket" and "I was a thug for Capitalism"
                      At least HE got the message
                      The moral culpability of dropping bombs from 1000 ft against undefended civilians VASTLY exceeds that of a suicide bomber who MIGHT kill 20 people, at the cost of his own life.
                    • your defense of our refusal to confirm "tips" and thus kill innocents is that "We just don't care"

                      Are you aware that there's a difference between wishing that I said something, and me actually having said it?

                      I can't even tell which line of mine you're twisting here.

                      You're right that the body count of the Iraq war (roughly 120,000) is a tragedy, and that the whole project was a huge mistake. But there is a moral difference between trying to overthrow a tyrant, and trying to impose a caliphate. You seem unwilling to acknowledge that, unlike those of the USA, ISIS's motivations are about as depraved as the

                    • There is no difference to the bodies of those whom we kill because we don't care, and those who die because someone else didn't care.
                      Screw you, OUR war crimes exactly equal THEIR war crimes, except in Iraq where all war crimes stem from the WMD lies
                    • The USA had no decency OR ELSE the Pentagon would not have been trying to get Seymour Hersh fired BEFORE publication
                      The U.S. was only EMBARRASSED by this exposure, nothing else.
                      OUR murders are ISIS recruiting posters!
      • Great, so we're learning from the losers now?

      • https://chomsky.info/200401__/ [chomsky.info]
        "CHOMSKY: It's close to a historical universal that the term "terror" is used for their terror against us and our clients, not our terror against them. Heads of states can qualify as "terrorists," when they are official enemies."

        https://chomsky.info/20011018-... [chomsky.info]
        "Well that brings us back to the question, what is terrorism? I have been assuming we understand it. Well, what is it? Well, there happen to be some easy answers to this. There is an official definition. You can find it

    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @11:56PM (#54696341)

      As long as they have a good definition of terrorist.

      By today's definitions, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton were terrorists because of their thoughts and activities in The Thirteen Colonies.

      Alexander Hamilton was extra-terrorist-ty, because he wouldn't stop singing all the time.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Instead of trying to label people or content, why not look at the actually, er, content of the posts? So instead of saying "this was posted by X, therefore is not allowed", have a rule that says "no beheading, no inciting violence, no harassing people".

        That's generally what these companies do, and I don't see any evidence of systemic oppression of political ideas or groups, only a few mistakes here and there which affect all sides.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          no inciting violence, no harassing people"

          Because these terms are subjective? What you consider 'inciting' or 'harassing' may in fact be humor to people with stronger backbones who don't take everything personally.

          That's generally what these companies do, and I don't see any evidence of systemic oppression of political ideas or groups, only a few mistakes here and there which affect all sides.

          Of course you don't, because these GoodThink policies happen to mostly agree with your brand of politics, so they will typically allow speech you agree with and quash most of what you don't. That isn't much of an argument.

          I'd rather let everyone have a say, along with those who would criticize the positions taken. This is how individuals

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Because these terms are subjective?

            What is your alternative? Try to enumerate every possible unacceptable behaviour?

            The law is subjective because lawmakers realized centuries ago that enumerating everything is impossible and bound to fail. It uses phrases like "credible threat", and then relies on courts deciding exactly what that means. There is simply no other viable way to do it.

            f course you don't, because these GoodThink policies happen to mostly agree with your brand of politics, so they will typically allow speech you agree with and quash most of what you don't.

            Actually accounts that I think are perfectly fine do get caught up in mistakes now and then. Contrapoints recently had a video taken down (and weeks later restore

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          See. You started ok 'no beheading', because you see 'beheading' someone is kind of a crime. But what is 'inciting violence' and 'harassing' speech? Is posting an opinion about a Pro-life stance 'inciting violence' or 'harassment'? According to Twitter it is, and hell I'm pro-abortion. But if you can't deal with a message that doesn't make it 'harassment'.

          The part about this that should REALLY bother people is the coordination with governments & supra-national bodies. I don't much care what a corporation

    • And they'll need to explain the difference between terrorist and freedom fighter/revolutionary/protester.

      How do so few people have access to a dictionary?

      terrorism
      : the unlawful use or threat of violence especially against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion

      freedom fighter
      : a person who takes part in a resistance movement against an oppressive political or social establishment

      protest
      : a complaint, objection, or display of unwillingness usually to an idea or a course of action

      • Okay, you seem to think you've got this all figured out as to who's who and what. So... let's rewind the clock just a few years and you tell me: Under which of your categories would you put the IRA?

        • terrorism

        • Depends on how many is a few. Some of the earlier incarnations of the IRA probably fit the definition of freedom fighters, when Britain was an occupying power, but by the time The Republic of Ireland was an independent country and Norther Ireland had a constitutional right to leave the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and join The Republic of Ireland if a majority voted to do so[1] then they were definitely terrorists.

          [1] Note: The Republic of Ireland has no constitutional requirement

      • by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @01:04AM (#54696533)

        So what is a person who takes part in a resistance movement against an oppressive political or social establishment using unlawful threats or violence against the state or the public ?

      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        So what happens when someone takes part in a resistance movement against an oppressive political or social establishment ends up breaking the law in the process? Terrorist or freedom fighter?

        • Freedom fighter. The key part to terrorism isn't that you are breaking the law, it's that you are using terror as a tool.

        • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

          Not mutually exclusive.
          The French Revolution is one of the most iconic movement against an oppressive political or social establishment. It lead to a period that is literally called "the terror".

      • freedom fighter - pro-West terrorist.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      As long as they have a good definition of terrorist. And they'll need to explain the difference between terrorist and freedom fighter/revolutionary/protester.

      Terrorist (n). a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

    • Are you new here (on this planet)?

      They will never do that. The masses are confused by precise definitions.

      The whole point is harvesting the masses' irrational (implanted) fears to stifle dissent, especially rational dissent that would persuade educated people that make money and could destabilize the economy.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      SJW will just ban anything they have to.
      Blasphemy to keep to international investors.
      Communist leadership and history due to communist party investors.
      Comment on books or authors that some SJW wants banned?
      A celebrity wants negative reviews and comments about their project, movie or music removed.
      Comment on German politics and get reported?
    • the difference between Terrorist and Freedom Fighter depends on who you agree with.
  • They're outraged at the thought of censorship, denouncing the authoritarian agenda, and otherwise pretending to stand up for freedom.

    • by Z80a ( 971949 )

      The corporations are already starting to abuse the very tools you're creating to "combat hate speech".
      Soon enough complaining about your iphone exploding on your face ion the internet will be "hate speech against apple", and every punishment you created for "people that said hateful things on the internet" will be used against you.

      Also removing actual terrorist things from the internet is just sweeping the problem under the carpet and removing the possibility of infiltrating in such groups.

  • Obligatory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @11:23PM (#54696257) Journal
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      What should the threshold be? There has to be one, content has to be legal in some jurisdiction... Even 4chan and 8chan ban some content.

      Complaining about the language is just the latest form of political correctness - a silencing tactic to make it difficult to discuss the issues, a kind of newspeak where certain words don't exist any more.

      • Re:Obligatory (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @03:22AM (#54696851)

        The threshold is what the laws of the country a server is in require. In Germany, you have a problem with "glorifying the Third Reich", in Thailand you better be wary what you say about their king. The nice thing about the internet is that if you don't agree with such laws, you can move your server abroad. And countries in turn can block access to content they deem illegal.

        But that's the extent this can and should take. And I can only hope that governments are aware of the problem they create if they insist in putting a lid on certain speech. Hot air creates pressure. If that pressure cannot be vented, the pot will explode.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The problem with using the law as the limit, and moving your server to the most permissive place possible, is that you won't make any money. You will end up like 4chan and 8chan, struggling to raise money to survive and unable to grow.

          For a service like Twitter or Facebook I don't think it's a viable business model. Even Slashdot has to block some stuff to survive and to reduce annoyance to a tolerable level. Sure, we still have the GNAA trolls at -1, but all that means is that the moderation system is doin

          • The difference is maybe that on /., it's me who decides what I will see and what I won't. If I read /. at -1, I should be fully aware that I will get to see GNAA postings along with the "apps" and "cows" and all the other /. memes that clog your day and make this site so immensely enjoyable that I decided to put the threshold to +1. That was MY decision. And I do actually expect everyone to be able to decide for themselves what kind of content they can "suffer" through.

            As for children, this is something the

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              In that respect YouTube and Twitter are fairly similar to Slashdot. You can see that stuff if you want to, but it's opt-in.

              Note that in my example of the fake cartoon, I wasn't suggesting it be banned, merely labelled correctly as you suggest. In that specific example it deliberately wasn't.

              I think we basically agree on this issue.

        • by Kiuas ( 1084567 )

          And I can only hope that governments are aware of the problem they create if they insist in putting a lid on certain speech. Hot air creates pressure. If that pressure cannot be vented, the pot will explode.

          And that's why China's doing it differently. They've realized that outright limiting speech creates a lot of pressure so they do not ban/remove speech they just limit the visibility of 'problematic'/undesired content. The people are free to post and rant about their dissatisfaction with the rulers and po

          • Not just China. You can have the same with "objectionable" content on social media where this content simply does not make it to your feed unless you specifically already subscribed. You might have noticed that you get suggestions from most media pages (YouTube being one of the best examples) where they suggest something for you based on what you have been watching and what others are watching. And of course the things you already sub to.

            If someone is "questionable", he will not be suggested. He will not be

  • That is not an AC post! Well not really. Jeez, never seen so many people in my life afraid to say who they are....

    • With good reason. You have more and more people who would not shy away from trying their best to ruin your life just because you say something they don't agree with.

  • Without the social media to guide them, how will the defenders of the 1% find the evil terrorists? It's not like they are doing any intelligence work or police work. They need the obvious. They need people to shout online that they are angry. They need people to stand up in online public places and say "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"

    That's how they nab 'em.

    • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @12:38AM (#54696459)

      Without the social media to guide them, how will the defenders of the 1% find the evil terrorists?

      I know you're being a dick but allow me to enlighten you. What they are doing is removing content that is used to recruit individuals to other sites where the real content lives. What social media is doing is taking down propaganda. The purpose is to prevent more people from being radicalized, not find radicals.

  • You know, nazi trollbots. The "politically acceptable in 2017" astroturfing of every issue with racial invective and fear of the other, ridiculous assertions made for shock value and public discord and no other goal. At some point we have a choice between unfettered speech and a dual-insurgency that has no interest in legitimate society, because allowing a certain level of degeneration in public discourse is tantamount to granting extremists free reign and in fact ownership of those faculties and medias.

  • It seems I'm going to have to be that guy that tells other people, "these are private sites and they can do whatever they want to their own site"

    If you don't like how site XYZ operates then please do not use it! There are plenty of websites out there and if none are to your liking then you can make your own.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Censorship does nothing to help convince people, it only strengthens their argument.

    Leave it in place. Mark it as extremist and provide counter arguments side by side.

    they will find this shit somewhere and read it with out you...

    don't do the totalitarian bull shit.

  • The plutocrats are challenging you, will you defend yourself?

  • Unless we destroy the ignorance of the underclass, they will be the death of the planet

    • Not voting these lowlifes into an office of power would be a good start.

      I know they have no marketable skills, but still, there has to be something sensible these bozos can do.

      • But they masses control the vote. Democracy relies on the quality of the citizens, and our citizens can hardly be distinguished as human beings in all but the forms of their bodies. They have been tortured and reduced to animals.

        Until there is an awakening in the middle class and the government is rejected and dismantled, the Earth is doomed.

  • The leftist liberal bleeding heart ideological takeover starts and ends here. Thought Police 101.
  • Amazing how the Jewish Anti-Defamation league can post two pages with the same content (one pretending to be from Israel and the other from the Palestinians) and the Israeli page gets pulled while the Palestinian page stays. YouTube came in and demonetized all the MGTOW channels, deleted many of the gun channels, and anything else not part of the socialist orthodoxy.

    Make no mistake, this is CENSORSHIP.

  • We are not in fear of "extremism". We are in fear of violence. So this initiative is already a lie, as stated. Is there any *practical* difference between this policy and creating a means of systematic censorship of political opinion on the internet? If not, we must oppose it.
  • The writeup went from 'extremist' to 'terrorist' effortlessly. As if these are in some way equivalent.

    But no matter, this, in the U.S. is indistinguishable to me from prior restraint. Only the reality that these companies are not constrained by the First Amendment, and offer a service that need not actually abide by the First Amendment, saves them. It also should illuminate their operations. Facebook, for instance, cannot be considered a news organization. Oh, wait, they actually do publish news. Will they

  • from the article- "counter-speech efforts"
    Do we really need to say more? The whole point of 'freedom of speech' is that who ever controls speech controls information. Speech never harms anyone, anyone can say or write whatever they want all day long and no one is harmed unless a) someone is somehow forced to listen or read, b) someone acts on the ideas in the speech. Speech is not the crime or even the real concern the actions are and should be.

  • And in other news, people screamed and fainted at recent performances of 1984 on Broadway.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy

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