While companies are silent on whether rumors over the use of technology to automatically delete extremist content from their sites, it has been confirmed that they have met with the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) to adopt similar measures that Google, Microsoft, and Internet Service Providers used to block images of child abuse.
The software developed by Dartmouth University computer scientist Hany Farid. He also worked with the PhotoDNA system (the program used to detect child abuse images). Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc., and YouTube Inc. all are reported to have spoken to representatives of the CEP; however comments released from the proceedings match Twitter’s concerns over censorship.
Facebook, Google, and YouTube are all believed to have begun integrating the system according to a report from Reuters. While the companies have not commented on the topic, it’s believed Twitter has not even begun to introduce the software despite being a known platform for Extremist propaganda and also images of child abuse.
The program is said to look for hash tags (or hashes) that are known to be connected to extremists and will automatically delete the content without needing to be checked manually by an employee of the company that is using the technology. Companies may be hesitant to announce the use of the program for political concerns as well.
If their use becomes known it could cause oppressive political regimes to force companies to potentially censor messages from political oppositions or perhaps extremists will begin changing their patterns in order to not have their posts deleted by the algorithm.