Four of the biggest names in tech and the internet have joined forces to fight terrorism right at its online roots. Microsoft, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter have created the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.
Terrorist organizations, such as ISIS, use social media as a tool for recruitment, and often those platforms are heavily criticized for their inadvertent facilitation of such activity. As a response, Twitter has released a blog post that goes over the goals of the new forum, saying, "We take these issues very seriously, and each of our companies have developed policies and removal practices that enable us to take a hard line against terrorist or violent extremist content on our hosted consumer services."
The forum will help these social media companies to cooperate more easily with each other as well as with governmental agencies, smaller companies, and non-governmental organizations with an interest in battling terrorism.
Assessing the successfulness of existing anti-terrorist recruitment efforts is difficult, if not impossible. However, with greater cooperation, we can ensure that methods can be researched and deployed on a larger scale to maximize effectiveness.
Fighting terrorism has long been more than simply a matter of boots on the ground. With rapid technological development, the battle is getting even more complicated. We can only hope this initiative can help to mitigate the damage.