Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft Join Forces to Curb Spread of Terrorist Content Online

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

(Photo : Getty Images/Asahi Shimbun) Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addresses during the Facebook F8 Developers Conference on April 12, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

Major tech companies including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft recently announced that they will work together in order to help limit the spread of terrorist contents on the Internet. The companies said that their plan is to create a database and use it to tag terrorist contents.

Facebook said that the terrorist contents will be hashed using a unique digital fingerprint. Through this, terrorist specific contents can be identified easily and efficiently by computer systems and algorithms used by the company. The use of hashed images is the same method used by several organizations in order to ban child pornography off of their services.

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According to The Verge, this hashing technique was developed by the Internet Watch Foundation in order to identify and remove child pornography contents on the Internet. Google has also adopted this technique and uses it to scan every Gmail account for child porn contents.

One difference the proposed database has compared with the existing ones is that after tagging or identifying certain terrorist-related images and videos, they will not be automatically removed. Instead, these contents will be removed by individual companies on their platform depending of their policies. Each individual company is also tasked by how they define terrorist content on their platform.

Facebook hopes that the new database project will soon be embraced by other tech companies in order to curb the spread of terrorist contents on the web.

In a statement acquired by Tech Crunch, Facebook said, "We hope this collaboration will lead to greater efficiency as we continue to enforce our policies to help curb the pressing global issue of terrorist content online."

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