IN Spain, as in many other countries, we read regularly of alleged terrorists being arrested for promoting videos and messages of hate through social media and it is believed that a number of vulnerable people have been converted to Daesh in particular thanks to these fairly open websites.
Logically, if social media is partially the cause of the radicalisation of these individuals, then it is for social media to properly police itself in order to make it more difficult for those with terrorist ideals to spread their propaganda.
At last, four of the main outlets for the dissemination of such torrents of indoctrination, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube have agreed to work together in order to stamp out violent and extremist images from their sites.
These giants of the internet have declared that they will create a database which will contain what they refer to as ‘digital fingerprints’ which will allow automatic recognition of any inappropriate images of violence or extremism of any type.
This doesn’t mean that there will be blanket censorship but the intention is to identify inappropriate material and share the information so that all four companies can ensure that it is not broadcast and in due course, once properly up and running, they expect to be able to share the information with other suppliers of social media.
Although not an obvious direct reaction to recent criticism, it is clear that the four companies are alert to undertakings given to the European Commission several months ago to react quickly to remove ‘hate postings’ and they are very aware that it is better to self-regulate than to have new laws passed in Europe which they would have to obey.
It will still be possible for those wishing to swap images via what is known as the Dark Net which requires specific software so that only those already connected are able to communicate with each other, thus making it much more difficult to ‘preach’ to those who are not already committed.