The fight against Islamic militia groups has taken root as hackers and public officials are encouraging social media users to join hands and bury terrorism. President Obama is asking social media giants to help fight ISIS.
“I will urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice.” President Obama said on Sunday. The US president outlined his strategy to defeat ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria also known as ISIL or IS. Obama used the speech to explain the steps he would be taking to prevent future attacks such as the one with links to ISIS that killed 14 people last week in San Bernardino, California.
Facebook, Twitter and Google are already helping Western countries in the fight against terrorism. After the Paris attack, Facebook developed a safety check feature and temporary photos to act as a sign of togetherness. Social media hold a great impact on people across the continent. Cnet reports, the tech giants are concerned that if the true level of their cooperation were known, they would face increased demands from other countries and would be seen as bowing to government pressure.
Basically, social media networks have clear policies on hate speech and terrorism activities, but they never open their doors freely to accommodate government’s will since they have to uphold user privacy and upholding freedom of speech.
The US administration plans to meet with tech companies in the coming days to develop a “clearer understanding of when we believe social media is being used actively and operationally to promote terrorism.” Obama wants to tackle the active planning of terror plots that takes place on social sites. Facebook, Twitter and Google also met Thursday with the French prime minister and European Commission officials, who made similar demands, according to Reuters.
US and UK authorities have also called for tech companies to weaken encryption so that it can’t be “utilized in a way that allows for a space, a dark space, for terrorist groups to be plotting operations and attacks,” the White House said. Industry leaders and privacy advocates have responded with vehement opposition to the idea of weakened encryption.
To help in the fight against terrorism, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have taken down more extremist propaganda in the past year. The move by tech companies is a plus since in the past they never came up with ways of pulling down accounts. Now, President Obama is asking social media giants to help fight ISIS.