Google, Facebook and Twitter are to be hauled in front of world leaders and given a month to take down terrorist websites within two hours or face heavy fines.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, will on Wednesday urge internet firms to go ‘further and faster’ to stop the spread of terrorist material -including the development of new technology to stop it from ever appearing on the web in the first place.
Separately the Government is also talking to Amazon and Ebay about the sale of items on their websites could help terrorists launch attacks.
Official figures show that 54,000 different websites containing advice on bomb making, and committing attacks using trucks and knives, were posted online by supporters of the so-called Islamic State group between August last year and May this year.
Mrs May, with President Emmanuel Macron of France and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy, are meeting with the internet companies at the margins of the UN general assembly in New York on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister will say: “Terrorist groups are aware that links to their propaganda are being removed more quickly, and are placing a greater emphasis on disseminating content at speed in order to stay ahead.
“Industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online, and developing technological solutions which prevent it being uploaded in the first place.”
“I call on others to join the UK, France, and Italy in pledging their support for this approach.
“This is a global problem that transcends national interests. Governments must work with and support the efforts of industry and civil society if we are to achieve real and continuing progress and prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist use of cyberspace.
“In order to succeed, we must be united in our determination to fight terrorist exploitation of the internet.”
Wednesday’s meeting follows pressure from the PM for action at the G7 summit in Italy earlier this year.
Officials want to shrink the time when the propaganda is shared from two hours, to one hour and then to outlaw it altogether.
A Number 10 source added: “They have been something, but just doing not enough”.
“These companies have some of the best brains in the world. They should really be focusing that on what matters, which is stopping the spread of terrorism and violence. We want them to break the echo chambers.”
Google and YouTube have announced they are increasing their use of technology to help automatically identify videos.
Facebook have also stated publicly that they are looking at developing artificial intelligence to automate the identification of terrorist material.
Twitter said it had suspended almost a million accounts in two years for posting terrorist material. The social media platform has suspended over 930,000 accounts since 2015 as part of a terror crackdown and 300,000 accounts in six months this year.
Ahead of the meeting, Twitter said it had suspended almost a million accounts in two years for posting terrorist material.
The social media platform has suspended over 930,000 accounts since 2015 as part of a terror crackdown and 300,000 accounts in six months this year.
Over three quarters of those were shut down before one tweet had been sent, Twitter revealed yesterday.
However the social media giant has blocked 20 per cent fewer user accounts than in previous years, largely due to a fall in the number of terror groups attempting to post on the website.
In relation to the items for sale on its site, an Amazon spokesman said: “All products sold on Amazon must adhere to our selling guidelines and we only sell products that comply with UK laws.
“In light of recent events, we are reviewing our website to ensure that all these products are presented in an appropriate manner.
“We also continue to work closely with police and law enforcement agencies when circumstances arise where we can assist their investigations.”
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