Menu
Google, Facebook to discuss online extremism at dinner with EU officials

Google, Facebook to discuss online extremism at dinner with EU officials

The Commission wants to curb social media recruiting for radical Islamist groups

Google, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft representatives will discuss concerns about online radicalization and jihadist propaganda with EU officials at an informal dinner on Wednesday.

The dinner attendees will discuss challenges posed by terrorists' use of the Internet and possible responses, the European Commission said. They will also discuss tools and techniques to respond to terrorist online activities, with particular regard to the development of specific "counter-narrative initiatives," which are attempts to respond to the ideology of militant groups, Commission spokesman Michele Cercone said.

The tech companies will meet Commission representatives and ministers of the 28 EU member states in Luxembourg.

"The Internet and social media play a profoundly positive role in our lives and societies. However, they are also used by violent extremists to advance their aims, whether through engagement, propaganda, radicalization or recruitment," Cercone said. The Commission is particularly concerned about the recruiting of EU citizens to fight for radical Islamist groups in the Middle-East, the so-called foreign fighters, as well as calls for 'electronic Jihad' that the EU is facing, he said.

The Internet is largely operated by private companies, and together with civil society, they have the best Internet expertise he said, adding that conversely, law enforcement agencies and intelligence services possess the best knowledge about terrorist activities. "Public-private dialogue is therefore an essential tool to discuss issues of common interest," he added.

It is the first time such a meeting has taken place, and no new measures are on the table, according to Cercone. The objective is to build a bridge between politicians and the industry so that more meetings can take place in the future, he said.

A Google spokesman said the company would attend the dinner but declined to comment on its role or positions. The other invitees, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One notable party missing at the dinner table, as noted by the BBC, is Ask.fm, which was recently bought in August by Ask.com. According to reports Ask.fm has frequently been used by fighters who joined extremist groups to answer questions about joining those groups.

They could however been invited in the future. 'This is not a closed group, this time we have invited a few, in the future more or different companies can be invited," Cercone said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentsocial mediaMicrosoftinternetGoogleFacebooktwittereuropean commissionInternet-based applications and services

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.‚Äč

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments