“Social media giants are allowing Jihadists to ‘act with impunity’
Social media giants have not given British police a single tip-off over terrorist material on their websites.
Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter are allowing jihadists to ‘act with impunity’ by uploading beheading videos and bomb-making manuals, the country’s most senior counter-terror officer said yesterday.
The internet companies have not made any direct referrals to the police about extreme content, even though it has inspired deadly attacks.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the outgoing chief of UK counter-terror policing, said they are threatening public safety to maximise ‘profit and customer satisfaction’.
His remarks raise the spectre of terrorists freely plotting online to carry out atrocities against the UK before the police become aware of them.
Web giants face calls to tighten online security after Britain was hit by five attacks in London and Manchester last year. The attacks left 36 people dead and all of them had an online component.
Speaking at a counter-terror conference in London, Mr Rowley said social media firms should work with police in the same way banks had been made to co-operate on tracing dirty money.
He said: ‘Those extremists who utilise cyber space have proved highly influential and dangerous actors.
‘They have successfully encouraged, directed, enabled and promoted terrorist attacks with the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen.
‘The online extremists seem able to act with impunity, occupying spaces owned and managed by legitimate and very wealthy corporations.
‘I am disappointed that in the UK as a police service we are yet to receive a direct referral from them when they have identified such behaviour.’
Last night Twitter responded by saying that 95 per cent of terrorist content was removed using purpose-built technology and 75 per cent of accounts were suspended before their first tweet.
They are effectively private tenants to their communication service provider landlords. In the real world if a landlord knew their property was being used to plan or inspire terrorist attacks you would expect them to show corporate responsibility by informing the authorities and evicting them forthwith. We want to see those same standards applied in the virtual world.
The web giants have set up the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism to clamp down on extreme content.
Calling for a whole-society response to the terror threat – from both Islamist and right-wing extremists – Mr Rowley said 14 potential plots had been thwarted last year….