The group will honor the commitments it made as part of the Christchurch Call to Action—the tech industry’s nine-point plan in response to the terror attack in New Zealand in March and the spreading of video of that event—by adding a fourth pillar to its work, focused on crisis response.
GIFCT said it is introducing joint content incident protocols for responding to emerging or active events similar to the Christchurch tragedy, in order to ensure that relevant information is quickly and efficiently shared, processed and acted upon by all member companies, and so that tech companies can respond in a rapid fashion.
The group will work together to categorize incidents and their anticipated level and degree of online impact, and formal channels of communication will be established to share intelligence and content with all tech companies, whether or not they are part of GIFCT.
GIFCT wrote in a blog post, “The horrific terrorist attack highlighted the importance of close communication between members, and between government and the wider industry, which is why we are introducing joint content incident protocols to enable and empower companies to more quickly and effectively respond to emerging and active events.”
Pinterest and Dropbox are the newest members of GIFCT.
GIFCT also revealed that its database of hashes—digital fingerprints that help identify known terrorist images and video propaganda—doubled in the first six months of 2019, and it now totals over 200,000.
The group added, “As we take steps to deliver on the four collaborative actions set forth in the Christchurch Call to Action, we’re expanding the shared industry database so that it extends beyond photos and videos to include URLs that lead to known terrorist and violent extremist content online.”
GIFCT also released a transparency report, detailing its primary work streams, how it defines terrorist content and the volume and types of content in its database.
The group teamed up with Tech Against Terrorism to hold 11 workshops on nine countries in four continents and meet with 120 different tech and innovation platforms, as well as to provide funding to secure Jihadology.net in order to ensure that researchers studying terrorism have access to materials, while terrorists and those vulnerable to recruitment do not.
GIFCT will also roll out a cross-platform counter-violent extremist toolkit, developed with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, to assist civil society organizations in developing online campaigns to challenge extremist ideologies, while prioritizing their safety.
The group said in its blog post, “Terrorism and violent extremism are complex problems that require a joint response from industry, governments and wider society. We believe that by working together, sharing the best technological and operational elements of our individual efforts, we can have a significantly greater impact on the threat of terrorist content online than we can alone.”