Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube are creating a database to keep track of terrorist recruitment videos and other terror-related images that have been removed from their services, NPR reports. “By sharing this information with each other, we may use the shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on our respective hosted consumer platforms,” the companies said.
The collaboration will allow companies to cross-reference videos and pictures that show up on their services with a database of those that have already been removed from other services. For example, if a video glorifying violence in the name of the Islamic State has been removed from Twitter, it will be assigned a unique “fingerprint” which will be stored in the database. If the same video shows up on Facebook, Facebook will be able to match the video and, if it chooses, to remove it. Twitter has said that it has suspended 360,000 accounts for what it called connections to terrorist or extremist groups. “We should have government oversight for a database like this,” said Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.