The Telegraph: Government develops artificial intelligence program to stop online extremism. “The £600,000 software can automatically detect Isil propaganda and stop it from going online, and ministers claim the new tool can detect 94 per cent of Isil propaganda with 99.9 per cent accuracy.” For the purposes of this article, Isil = ISIS, as far as I can tell.
Phys.org: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube pressed over terror content. “Terrorists and hate groups continue to get their propaganda onto social media platforms despite efforts by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to shut them down, a US Senate panel heard Wednesday. Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and others have stepped up their use of bots and other methods to fight the artificial intelligence and algorithms the social media giants deploy to screen them out. In addition, they are now turning to smaller platforms and messaging apps with encryption and less ability to police users, like Telegram, Reddit and WhatsApp, though none have offered yet the previous broad reach that Facebook and YouTube have had.”
Engadget: Facebook and Google will testify to Senate over terrorist content. “It’s not just European countries who aren’t satisfied with internet giants’ ability to curb online terrorist content. The US Senate has summoned Facebook, Google (or rather, Alphabet) and Twitter to testify at a January 17th Commerce Committee hearing that will ‘examine the steps’ social networks have been taking to fight the spread of online extremist material. All three have agreed to testify and will send their policy leaders. We’ve asked them if they can comment on the upcoming testimony and will let you know if they can hint at what they’ll say.”
United Nations: ‘No clear evidence’ social media leads to more violent behavior, UN-backed study reports. “Violent extremists use the Internet to attract younger audiences, to disseminate content and to foster direct dialogue with young people, a United Nations agency-backed study found, but more research is needed to find out if social media has an effective role in radicalization.”
CBS News: The manuscripts saved by a monk . “City by city, page by page, Father Columba Stewart is preserving history. The Benedictine monk has spent more than a decade traveling to some of the world’s most dangerous regions to find and preserve ancient manuscripts before they are destroyed. The centuries-old works — historical manuscripts and antique religious books — are at risk for a few reasons. Sometimes it’s moisture eroding the hand-written pages; sometimes it’s a calculated attack to erase a cultural heritage.”
SBS: Database flags 40,000 videos as extremist. “A consortium of tech companies including Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter say a database it created to identify extremist content now contains more than 40,000 videos or images. The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism was created in June under pressure from governments in Europe and the US after a spate of deadly attacks.”
New Arab: The Taliban’s massive social media presence that’s being ignored. “The National Security Agency is launching cyber attacks designed by the same hackers who built Stuxnet, while the US Air Force is bombing militants who forget to switch off geolocation on their phones. Few would argue that Americans have failed to acknowledge and meet the apparent online threat presented by IS. By comparison however, the Taliban has fought American soldiers for well over a decade and used the Internet for even longer – yet it has encountered no such similar response.”