According to criticism made by US technology titans and other social media platforms of the like, the British Home Affairs select committee banged the internet monsters of “passing the buck” and becoming a “recruiting platform for terrorism”.
According to the telegraph reported on Thursday, the British parliament’s longest-serving Indian-origin member Keith Vazm headed the panel that said that the companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube have deliberately failed to tackle terrorists from using their platforms to promote their ominous agendas.
Mr. Vaz quoted, “Huge corporations like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, with their billion-dollar incomes, are consciously failing to tackle this threat and passing the buck by hiding behind their supranational legal status, despite knowing that their sites are being used by the instigators of terror.”
Moreover, the committee also declared, “It is alarming that these companies have teams of only a few hundred employees to monitor networks of billions of accounts and that Twitter does not even proactively report extremist content to law enforcement agencies”.
The case of Anjem Choudary, a hate preacher, was specifically mentioned in the report emphasizing that Twitter and Youtube intentionally refused to delete his posts related to violent extremism despite many requests that police made to them.
However last week, Choudary was convicted of some terror offences for which he is to be put into jail for about 10 years. Regarding his links to Islamic State (IS)-affiliated terrorists, the French and Belgian security services investigated his case and questioned him.
Moreover, the panel members also warned about the fact that social media platforms, for propagating terrorist agendas, are becoming the “vehicle of choice”. The committee’s report added, “If they continue to fail to tackle this issue and allow their platforms to become the ‘Wild West’ of the internet, then it will erode their reputation as responsible operators”.
However, director of policy at Facebook UK, Simon Milner in response declared, “aceTerrorists and the support of terrorist activity are not allowed on Facebook and we deal swiftly and robustly with reports of terrorism-related content.”
But there is also a good news that the social media site Twitter declared that, in the last six months, the company had suspended additional 235,000 accounts as those users clearly violated its policies related to promotion of terrorism and extremism. In the beginning of the current year, the company had also announced the blocking of more than 125,000 accounts as they were actively affiliated with the terrorist group of IS.
In this regard, Twitter reported in a blog spot, “This brings our overall number of suspensions to 360,000 since the middle of 2015. As noted by numerous third parties, our efforts continue to drive meaningful results, including a significant shift in this type of activity off of Twitter”.