The Group of Seven (G7) on Friday publicly pressured Google and a number of other Internet giants including Facebook to ramp up their efforts against combating online terror campaigns. The G7’s Sicily meeting saw leaders of the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, ant the United Kingdom call for more participation from global social media companies in their fight against hate speech and other online media activity of extremists, shortly after a terror attack in Manchester that resulted in 22 fatalities on Monday. UK Prime Minister Theresa May asserted that Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other companies running popular social media platforms ought to develop tools that would allow them to automatically identify and sanction material that is associated with extremists.
A similar sentiment was recently expressed by the European Union whose ministers voted to go through with a regulatory proposal that would legally oblige social media giants to sanction illegal videos posted on their platforms in a timely manner. In addition to censoring extremist content, the G7 called for Internet companies to get more actively involved in their efforts to identify and apprehend extremists operating in their jurisdiction. “The fight is moving from the battlefield to the Internet,” May said on Friday, adding that terrorists took advantage of the World Wide Web to spread their ideas, recruit individuals, and generally advance their alarming efforts. May’s latest comment on the matter indicates that the UK will continue pressuring social media companies to provide more cooperation in the country’s fight against terror even in a post-Brexit world.
Representatives of many major social media giants previously stated that they’re always evolving their anti-terror tools and have already been cooperating with authorities in their fight against online extremism. It remains to be seen whether the G7’s Friday appeal will be elaborated in the future, as the group didn’t clarify on what its latest call for cooperation entails. UK authorities recently clashed with Twitter after the San Francisco-based platform cut them off from its user data in a move that was reportedly harshly criticized by the British government. An update on the global fight against online terror is expected to follow later this year.