Microsoft is teaming up with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to help curb the spread of terrorist content on their services. These tech giants will be working together to identify and remove violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos/images from their services.
According to a blog post from Facebook, the companies will share a database of hashes which will store the content that has been removed from their services. Using the database, other companies will be able to identify which content has been removed from other services — and then they can use those to remove that content from their own services, too. Facebook stated:
Starting today, we commit to the creation of a shared industry database of “hashes” — unique digital “fingerprints” — for violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images that we have removed from our services. By sharing this information with each other, we may use the shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on our respective hosted consumer platforms. We hope this collaboration will lead to greater efficiency as we continue to enforce our policies to help curb the pressing global issue of terrorist content online.
Our companies will begin sharing hashes of the most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos we have removed from our services — content most likely to violate all of our respective companies’ content policies. Participating companies can add hashes of terrorist images or videos that are identified on one of our platforms to the database. Other participating companies can then use those hashes to identify such content on their services, review against their respective policies and definitions, and remove matching content as appropriate.
Facebook notes that none of the company will be sharing any personal information of their users as part of the partnership, which is definitely quite assuring to hear. Do keep in mind that companies will apply their own policies on the terrorist content, so not all content may get removed as it depends on a certain company’s policies.