- A non-profit formed by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter is cracking down on white supremacist groups.
- Groups like the Proud Boys will be added to a shared database that also tracks known terrorist organizations.
- That database is used by the tech giants to identify content for removal across their services.
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Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter are going after white supremacist and far-right groups like the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters, the companies revealed to Reuters on Monday.
Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, a nonprofit that counts the tech giants among its members, is expanding a shared database used to identify extremist content across platforms with data gathered on white supremacist groups: manifestos, publications, lists of users, and unique pieces of content that were already removed from other services.
By adding that intel to the database, services like Facebook, Google’s YouTube, and Twitter intend to more quickly remove it from their own platforms.
The database addition puts white nationalist and extremist groups in the same database alongside internationally recognized terrorism groups like Al Qaeda and Hamas.
White nationalist and extremist groups have repeatedly used social media platforms to spread propaganda and organize real-life events. Members of the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters, both of which were present at the attempted insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, have used Facebook to organize and YouTube to disseminate their beliefs.
As a result, prominent tech leaders and other public figures have pointed to the tech giants as at least partially responsible for the events of January 6.
The non-profit says it’s aware of and attempting to tread lightly around potential censorship concerns. “Over-achievement in this takes you in the direction of violating someone’s rights on the internet to engage in free expression,” GIFCT’s Executive Director Nicholas Rasmussen told Reuters.
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