United Kingdom unveils tools to block extremist content online

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According to them, numerous major tech companies have developed technology specific to their own platforms and have publicly reported on the difference this is making in their fight against terrorist content.

Developed by the UK Home Office and London-based company ASI Data Science, the technology uses advanced machine learning to analyse the audio and visuals of a video to determine whether it could be ISIS propaganda. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth/file) FILE - This is a Thursday March 23, 2017 file photo of Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd speaks during a vigil in Trafalgar Square, London.

"Tests have shown this new tool can automatically detect 94 percent of Daesh [an acronym for ISIS] propaganda with 99.995 percent accuracy", said a government press release.

The government in the United Kingdom has publicised its plans to roll out a tool that will be used in the detection of jihadist and extremist content, blocking it from being viewed. This is versus the 36 hours or so which is apparently the average time it takes for tech firms to remove such content, which by then would have easily spread to hundreds, if not thousands of viewers.

In Silicon Valley, the home secretary told the BBC the tool was made as a way to demonstrate that the government's demand for a clampdown on extremist activity was not unreasonable.

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Dr Marc Warner from ASI Data Science spoke to BuzzFeed News about the project, saying it is an AI algorithm, which works by "spotting subtle patterns in the extremist videos that distinguish them from normal content, from the rest of the internet".

Facebook is one of the platforms the government has been pestering to do more to combat online extremism.

The company said it typically flagged 0.005% of non-IS video uploads. While tech giants have been developing their own technology to tackle the problem, smaller platforms are increasingly targeted by ISIL and often do not have the same level of resources to develop technology. "So we're very keen that the tool is used as widely as possible".

However, the bigger challenge is predicting which parts of the internet the terrorists will use next.

The home secretary will also meet with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which was launched a year ago in the aftermath of the Westminster Bridge attack that left five dead.

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