United Kingdom unveils tool for blocking extremist content

Amber Rudd

According to the BBC, UK home secretary Amber Rudd said the government may end up legally forcing tech companies to use the tool. "We're not going to rule out taking legislative action if we need to do it, but I remain convinced that the best way to take real action, to have the best outcomes, is to have an industry-led forum like the one we've got".

The government provided 600,000 pounds ($832,000) of public funds towards the creation of the tool by an artificial intelligence company based in London.

The objective of these videos is to incite violence in our communities, recruit people to their cause, and attempt to spread fear in our society. There are tools out there that can do exactly what we're asking for.

The system is to be made available to smaller companies, as the government says that these are increasingly being targeted by extremists to publish propaganda.

"This is an incredibly exciting development which could help remove significant amount of the terrorist material we're referring to", Rudd told a forum in Palo Alto, California, that was broadcast on Facebook. But the government said its algorithm could be used by smaller platforms that do not have the same level of resources to develop technology.

The Home Office estimates that between July and the end of 2017, extremist material appeared in nearly 150 web services that had not been used for such propaganda before. We know that automatic technology like this can heavily disrupt the terrorists' actions, as well as prevent people from ever being exposed to these horrific images.

There in northern California the politician will meet with various tech industry representatives, and U.S. government politicians, to discuss tackling terrorist content online.

Ms Rudd is visiting Silicon Valley this week, where she will meet with U.S. tech firms to discuss the new model as well as other means of tackling terrorist content online. In September 2017, European political leaders said heavy fines would be in order for companies that didn't remove extremist content fast enough.

She discussed the new anti-terror tool on her visit during talks with internet service providers in the country as part of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which was launched previous year in the aftermath of the UK Parliament attack in March 2017.

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