A Big Tech-led group is using its influence and power to broaden its shared censorship database to curb “extremist content” and collect video and images deemed white supremacist, according to Reuters. The expansion comes after the group “took on renewed urgency” after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which Democrats and tech giants continue to use as an excuse to justify suppression.
Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube, tech oligarchs trigger-happy to deplatform political dissidents, founded the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism in 2017 in what they labeled “a new collective effort to prevent the spread of terrorist and violent extremist content online.” Initially, the organization claimed to focus its efforts on rounding up content from terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State and the Taliban as designated by the United Nations, but now the monopolies running GIFCT are using their oligarch power to crack down on dissidents of their elitist agenda.
Just five years after its founding, GIFCT is expanding its database to include “white supremacist” content as determined by the United Nation’s Tech Against Terrorism project and intelligence groups such as Five Eyes. According to Reuters, the database will include “attacker manifestos — often shared by sympathizers after white supremacist violence” as well as links and material from Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and other “neo-Nazi” groups that are identified and then censored or removed by social media platforms.
Other tech companies, which recently received pressure from the White House to flag content that doesn’t align with the administration’s COVID-19 propaganda from their respective platforms, are now joining social media giants in their efforts and will be able to access the trove of “extremist” material to see which platforms have already removed it.
Although new to GIFCT, many of these tech giants have previously engaged in censorship and deplatforming. Airbnb pledged to prevent “hate groups” from visiting D.C. during President Joe Biden’s peaceful inauguration. Mailchimp used its power to deplatform opinions it doesn’t like. Pinterest and Instagram banned former President Donald Trump.
This digital campaign, however, isn’t good enough for GIFCT’s Executive Director Nicholas Rasmussen, who said he wants a larger crackdown on “extremism.”
“Anyone looking at the terrorism or extremism landscape has to appreciate that there are other parts … that are demanding attention right now,” Rasmussen said, ignoring complaints of overreach to cite “the threats of far-right or racially motivated violent extremism” that could come through “audio” and “symbols.”
GIFCT’s decision comes on the heels of nearly a year and a half of rampant censorship by some of these same companies who are willing to do the government’s social-credit-system dirty work for them.