The French government is calling tech giants at Silicon Valley led by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) to do more in the war against extremism propaganda. French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, made the remarks on his visit to Silicon Valley, to meet representatives of some of the biggest tech companies. That are at the center of facilitating communications with millions of people around the globe.
Cazeneuve visit comes on the heels of a three-day Countering Violent Extremism Summit in Washington attended by representatives from around the globe. Terrorist networks have resorted to using platforms offered by the likes of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) for propelling their propaganda on extremism as well as for recruiting new members.
The role of the private sector in countering efforts initiated by the terrorist networks was one of the topics discussed during the high-profile summit in the wake of the Paris attacks that left 17 people dead. France interior minister claimed that 90% of people who commit terrorist attacks are usually recruited over the internet. The remarks essentially put Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) on the spot as they offer some of the largest platforms in the world for communication.
The French government in the wake of the Paris shooting was forced to censor some sites that were found to glorifying terrorism without first seeking court’s permission. The government currently relies on an internet monitoring system dubbed ‘Pharos’ that allows the flagging of inappropriate online content. Cazeneuve hopes to convince the likes of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) to self-police problematic content through the use of private self-regulation.
The push is aimed at removing extremist propaganda online which is usually the subject of review in courts before being expunged from the internet. The French government is especially pushing the removal of extremism content published on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) that have become propaganda tools for terrorist cells. It could turn out to be a tough endeavor for the government considering most of this social platforms are not responsible for any hosted content unless it is specifically determined to be illegal.
Critics also argue that online monitoring may not do enough to stifle extremism recruitments as radicalization can occur in any settings be it in jail, meeting places or via the internet.
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