Now You See It, Now You Don’t? Moving Beyond Account & Content Removal in Digital Counter-Extremism Operations
June 13, 2018
By Lorand Bodo On 25–26 April 2018, a major multinational digital content takedown operation was conducted against the Islamic State (IS). The operation targeted the major online media outlets directly associated with IS. The operation was reportedly successful in collecting digital evidence about IS activities, including the seizure of servers located in Canada, the Netherlands ...
Technology and Regulation Must Work in Concert to Combat Hate Speech Online
May 23, 2018
By Andre Oboler Online bullying, hate and incitement are on the rise, and new approaches are needed to tackle them. As the Australian Senate conducts hearings for its Inquiry into cyberbullying, it should consider a two-pronged approach to combating the problem. First, the government should follow the lead of Germany in imposing financial penalties on major ...
A Glossary of Internet Content Blocking Tools
February 7, 2018
We have published a number of recent Blog posts–see HERE, HERE, and HERE–that address issues around content regulation and intermediary liability. We therefore thought the below would be a timely intervention. The piece is excerpted from Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society’s Law, Borders, and Speech Conference Proceedings Volume, where it appears as an appendix. ...
Internet Intermediaries, Human Rights, and Extremist Content
January 31, 2018
Content removal on social media platforms often takes place through semi-automated or automated processes. Algorithms are widely used for content filtering and content removal processes1, including on social media platforms, directly impacting freedom of expression and raising rule of law concerns (e.g. questions of legality, legitimacy and proportionality). While large social media platforms like Google or Facebook have ...
Can Taking Down Websites Really Stop Terrorists and Hate Groups?
November 29, 2017
By Thomas Holt, Joshua D. Freilich and Steven Chermak In the wake of an explosion in London on September 15, President Trump called for cutting off extremists’ access to the Internet. Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner.The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better! — Donald J. ...
Vital Human Rights Evidence in Syria is Disappearing from YouTube
November 22, 2017
By Dia Kayyali and Raja Althaibani So much of Syria’s history has been purposefully erased by ISIS in recent years. And now, we’re seeing another erasure of history– this time on YouTube. Thousands of videos showing human rights abuses in Syria, as well as the channels that feature these videos, are being removed by YouTube. ...
Industry Efforts to Censor Pro-Terrorism Online Content Pose Risks to Free Speech
October 11, 2017
By Sophia Cope, Jillian C. York, and Jeremy Gillula In recent months, social media platforms—under pressure from a number of governments—have adopted new policies and practices to remove content that promotes terrorism. As the Guardian reported, these policies are typically carried out by low-paid contractors (or, in the case of YouTube, volunteers) and with little to ...
Automated censorship is not the answer to extremism
May 24, 2017
By Jim Killock In a report published last month by the Home Affairs Select Committee brands social media companies as behaving irresponsibly in failing to remove extremist material. It takes the view that the job of removing illegal extremist videos and postings is entirely the responsibility of the companies, and does not envisage a role for courts ...
Takedown Collaboration by Private Companies Creates Troubling Precedent
December 21, 2016
By Emma Llansó On 5 December, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube announced their intent to begin collaborating on the removal of terrorist propaganda across their services. Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is deeply concerned that this joint project will create a precedent for cross-site censorship and will become a target for governments and private actors seeking to ...
Programming Human Beings to Build a Hate-Free Internet
November 30, 2016
This year’s wild presidential campaign was not only a test of two very different politicians but of humanity in general. Because social media is now far more entrenched than four years ago, we were effectively subjected to a giant, real-world experiment. The research question: how exactly do we treat one another when sensitive matters of ...