The British Home Affairs Select Committee published a report assessing that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YoutTube are “consciously failing” to prevent their sites from “being used to promote terrorism and recruit extremists.” Committee members announced that these social media giants are “the vehicle of choice in spreading propaganda and the recruiting platforms for terrorism,” and are demanding that they publish statistics four times a year detailing the number of terrorist-related pages and accounts they have deleted.
Committee chair, Labor MP Keith Vaz, argues that these social media sites are “the lifeblood of Daesh” (another term used for ISIS). He added:
Huge corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter, with their billion-dollar incomes, are consciously failing to tackle this threat and passing the buck by hiding behind their supranational legal status, despite knowing that their sites are being used by the instigators of terror.
“The companies’ failure to tackle this threat has left some parts of the internet ungoverned, unregulated and lawless.”
The committee learned that these companies only have “a few hundred” employees tasked with monitoring content posted on their companies’ sites. Worse still, some don’t actively report the extremist content to law enforcement.
The Independent reports that official figures estimate that roughly 800 UK-based Islamists have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS. About half returned to the UK, which officials believe helped contribute to the one third increase of terror-related incidents. Police have had to rise to the challenge; deleting nearly 300 posts per day.
In late August, Twitter announced it removed 235,000 accounts for “violating its extremism policies,” the same week when British Islamist Anjem Choudhry was finally sentenced to prison, this time for publicly supporting ISIS.