Facebook, Twitter and Google accused of doing little to counter terrorism

It appears that some of the biggest social media networks on the Internet are failing to stop terrorists from using their networks. Facebook, Twitter, and Google were accused by MPs in the UK that they were failing to stop terrorists from using their services on purpose because they feared the move would hurt their brands.

MPs said that social media networks were becoming the vehicle of choice for most terrorists to spread their propaganda because of the failure in keeping up with the terrorists by the companies. They warned that not many employees were recruited enough to police the use of terrorist propaganda, news and messages on the social media networks.

The Home Affairs also accused the US social media networks of simply passing the buck and now they are recruiting platform used by terrorist groups.

One point highlighted by MPs was that Twitter and YouTube had refused to remove posts by Isil convicted supporter, hate preacher Anjem Choudhary, even though the police had asked constantly to remove the posts. The chairman of the committee, Keith Vaz, said that billion dollar corporations such as Facebook and Twitter had failed to combat the problem properly. The companies were hiding under their supranational legal ability, even though they were fully aware that their sites had become recruiting spots for terrorists. He said that the failure to face the threat by the companies had left some parts of the Internet unregulated, ungoverned and lawless.

In the report drafted by the committee, there is highlight of how the companies have employed a few number of employees to keep in check with the billions of accounts that are on the social media networks. It also noted that Twitter in particular did not report terrorist content to law enforcement agencies. The report said that if these companies continued to pass up the opportunity to tackle the issue properly then they were at risk of losing their reputation amongst the general public as responsible networks.

The report also indicates a need for the tech companies to work with the British counter-extremism police and actively shut down accounts when required. It also calls for the mentioned networks to release figures such as how many of the accounts they have shut down quarterly. The report also recommended formation of a specialist police unit for social media network terror related material and make it a central hub. Mr Vaz said that the British government should counter the effective propaganda machine that Daesh was running at the moment.

The security minister, Ben Wallace said that tech companies had a part to play in the fight against terrorism and they were supposed to do their part. He said that they were working with tech companies to get a swifter and automated approach to detecting and removing content from the networks.

Twitter mentioned last week that they had removed close to 250,000 accounts suspected of supporting terrorism or promoting it.

The direct of policy at Facebook said that terrorists and their activities were not allowed on the tech giant’s website. He also said that in cases where they detected terrorism linked accounts they acted swiftly and removed everything including associated accounts.