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According to Zoom, the initiative demonstrates its goal to be a trustworthy platform that provides a safe online environment where users are protected against online threats.
On Wednesday, conferencing services company Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ: ZM) joined the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). Within this independent counterterrorism group, Zoom will combat violence and extremism.
Zoom and Counterterrorism Tech Group
According to Josh Parecki, Zoom’s Associate General Counsel on Trust & Safety, Zoom aims to be a trustworthy platform that provides a safe online environment where users are protected against online threats.
“We are proud to become a member of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). By collaborating with other leaders across the industry, sharing key learnings and advancing research, we aspire to make the digital world a safer place for all.”
GIFCT Executive Director Nicholas Rasmussen commented:
“We are delighted to welcome Zoom as our most recent GIFCT member, and we look forward during 2022 to welcoming even more new platforms and companies to GIFCT.”
GIFCT started its activity aimed at preventing terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms back in 2017. Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: FB), formerly known as Facebook, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), and YouTube founded the group to foster technical collaboration, advance relevant research, and share knowledge with smaller platforms. Being in partnership with civil society groups, governments, academics, and technology companies, GIFCT leads the charge in countering the spread of terrorist and violent extremist content online.
Since 2017, GIFCT has significantly expanded its membership. Pinterest, Instagram, WhatsApp, Reddit, WordPress.com, Airbnb, Tumblr, etc., and now Zoom are members of this counterterrorism group.
This year, GIFCT has seen significant progress, with growth in both organizational and substantive terms. In 2022, the group is planning to implement a membership tiering structure to allow companies other than the founding members to more actively and directly participate in GIFCT’s work.
GIFCT’s Expanded Database
Earlier, GIFCT faced criticism from some human and digital rights advocates over centralized or over-broad censorship. Previously, it was using hashed identifiers for images and video. In July this year, the organization expanded the scope of its hash-sharing database to include attacker manifestos and other publications and URLs flagged by the United Nations initiative Tech Against Terrorism. GIFCT announced it would add three categories of content. In particular, those are PDFs of terrorist or violent extremist attackers, terrorist publications that use specific branding and logos, and URLs from social networks. Besides, GIFCT said it would continue to broaden the database to include hashes of audio files or certain symbols.
As Nicholas Rasmussen has stated, in 2022, the group will broaden its base of support that aligns with recommendations from the human rights impact assessment. The critically important partnerships for GIFCT are collaborations with Tech Against Terrorism as well as the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET).