[The key here, is found in how "extremism" is defined. Is there any doubt how these organizations will define "extreme"?]
Web giants YouTube , Facebook , Twitter and Microsoft will step up efforts to remove extremist content from their websites by creating a common database.
The companies will share 'hashes' - unique digital fingerprints they automatically assign to videos or photos - of extremist content they have removed from their websites to enable their peers to identify the same content on their 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," the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.
Tech companies have long resisted outside intervention in how their sites should be policed, but have come under increasing pressure from Western governments to do more to remove extremist content following a wave of militant attacks.
YouTube and Facebook have begun to use hashes to automatically remove extremist content.
But many providers have relied until now mainly on users to flag content that violates terms of service. Flagged material is then individually reviewed by human editors who delete postings found to be in violation.
Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts between February and August this year and has expanded the teams reviewing reports of extremist content.
Each company will decide what image and video hashes to add to the database and matching content will not be automatically removed, they said.
The database will be up and running in early 2017 and more companies could be brought into the partnership.
The European Union set up an EU Internet Forum last year bringing together the internet companies, interior ministers and the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator to find ways of removing extremist content.
The Forum will meet again on Thursday, when ministers are expected to ask the companies about their efforts and helping to provide evidence to convict foreign fighters.
[Perhaps this article gives us an example of what is and what is not considered "extreme" in the world of Facebook. You have to open the link to see the pictures/captions which are currently allowed/not allowed]
Below is the photo that Facebook removed (and notified me, who didn’t post it) because it “didn’t follow Facebook community standards”:
You can see the Facebook standards here, and they comprise these strictures, which apparently were the ones violated by the photo above (my emphasis in the text):
Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.
Yeah, right. Well, there are plenty of Facebook pages that attack others based on “religion and national origin”. Take a look at a few sites listed in yesterday’s comments by reader Golan. I’ve looked them up and put up at least one post on each page to show what Facebook does tolerate. The names of the sites and their links are in italics to the left:
Now are you going to tell me that the photo removed by Facebook, presumably for constituting “hate speech,” is worse than the ones I’ve just shown? Those cartoons promote hatred of both a nationality (Israel, USA, India) and of a religious group (Jews); both violate Facebook standards.
What seems to the case here is a Facebook double standard: attacking Israelis and their friends (based on nationality) or Jews (based on their religion) is okay, but attacking Islam is not. This, of course, is characteristic of the double standard that unfortunately permeates much of the Western Left these days. But I’ve never seen such a blatantly two-faced, reprehensible instantiation of this double standard as we see on Facebook.
"It's easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used against [alleged] 'fake news' websites," writes Kurt Nimmo. "At this point it is unknown if the bill will work its way through the Senate and become law and if it will be used to shut down or curtail websites anonymously characterized as useful idiots or willing participants in disseminating supposed Russian propaganda."
One of the websites The Washington Post labeled “fake news” in a November story demanded a retraction and threatened the paper with a defamation lawsuit in a demand letter Sunday.
“You did not provide even a single example of ‘fake news’ allegedly distributed or promoted by Naked Capitalism or indeed any of the 200 sites on the PropOrNot blacklist,” James A. Moody writes. “You provided no discussion or assessment of the credentials or backgrounds of these so-called ‘researchers’ (Clint Watts, Andrew Weisburd, and J.M. Berger and the ‘team’ at PropOrNot), and no discussion or analysis of the methodology, protocol or algorithms such ‘researchers’ may or may not have followed.”
Naked Capitalism is a finance and economics blog started in December 2006, with a stated goal of “shedding light on the dark and seamy corners of finance.”
Moody demands a retraction of the story and a public apology from WaPo in the letter, threatening a suit if the paper does not comply. He lists a series of damages to the site itself, as well as the writers and editors associated with the site; these include “ridicule, emotional distress, loss of reputation, and risk to future career advancement” for writers and editors.
Other mainstream news outlets criticize The Washington Post for running the story.
“The organization’s anonymity, which a spokesperson maintained was due to fear of Russian hackers, added a cybersexy mystique,” Adrian Chen wrote in The New Yorker regarding the WaPo story. “But a close look at the report showed that it was a mess.”
And Patrick Maines criticized the story in The Hill, calling it “perhaps the shoddiest piece of feature writing since Rolling Stone published its blatantly false story about a campus rape at the University of Virginia.”
“You have made damaging false accusations against Naked Capitalism,” Moody concludes in the letter. “Please immediately remove these from the web and provide an equivalent opportunity to respond. Please see the attached concerning your obligation to retain documents and electronically stored information relating to Fake News. I look forward to hearing from you within three business days.”
ISLAMIC STATE is planning a 'Bloody Friday' assault on the SAME DAY as Donald Trump is inaugurated as US president, it can be revealed.
Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on an immediate seven-day ceasefire in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The Russian Foreign Minister described the draft resolution as counterproductive to a practical outcome.
Russia, which warned its colleagues in advance that it would veto the text, was criticized by the US-led block. The Russian envoy said that the UNSC should not undermine efforts made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his counterpart John Kerry, who agreed on a settlement plan for Aleppo in Rome on December 2. The plan includes the withdrawal of militants from the eastern part of the city.
Moscow and Damascus have long maintained that humanitarian pauses have been used by fighters to resupply ammunition and to strengthen their positions which only worsens the suffering of civilians.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the resolution ran counter to a solution that the US and Russia are trying to agree on for Aleppo.
“Taking into consideration the outcome of the previous pauses [in the conflict], there is absolutely no doubt that the 10-day ceasefire, which backers of the draft resolution generously want to provide the militants with, would surely be used for regrouping and rearming the extremists and would slow down the liberation of eastern Aleppo from them,” Lavrov said.