Issue Brief on “Countering Terrorism Online”


Terrorism has gone from an unrelenting yet trivial security concern to one of the most important security problems of our times. There are few countries that do not suffer from some form of terrorism. Though many cyber attempts at terrorism fail, some groups end up being successful in their endeavors to recruit, disseminate and spread their ideology. In this regard, the United Nations (UN) has welcomed major partnership initiatives with tech giants to counter terrorism online, which includes tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube. Although these four companies have already created removal policies against terrorists, but joint initiatives with the UN can have a greater impact.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism partnership launched by the UN will help further strengthen these ‘counter-speech’ protections through research – evidence-based efforts and technical and policy decisions around the removal of terrorist content, as specified by the UN Executive Directorate.[1] The growing presence of modern terrorism on the Internet is at the nexus of two key trends: the democratisation of communications driven by user-generated content on the Internet; and the growing consciousness of modern terrorists of the potential of the Internet for their purposes.

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