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Theresa May calls for stronger clampdown on terrorist material

(Image credit: Image Credit: Kaspri / Shutterstock)

Internet giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Google have a major role to play in the fight against terrorism, according to the UK's prime minister who has called on these companies to help take down online extremist content or risk paying large penalties. 

During a meeting in New York which coincided with the UN's General Assembly, Theresa May called on the largest tech companies in the world to aid in preventing the spread of terrorism, saying:   

“Industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online, and developing technological solutions which prevent it being uploaded in the first place.” 

Back in June, Germany's government passed a law requiring social media sites to pull down or block criminal content on their sites with 24 hours.  If they fail to do so, they could be fined up to €50 million. 

Theresa May has cut the time limit to remove extremist content significantly and tech companies operating in the UK will have just two hours to block or pull down posts or pages supporting terrorism before being fined. 

The UK government is being joined by the governments of France and Italy in this new strategy to stop terrorism related content from reaching citizens online. 

While the details regarding May's call to action have not been finalised with the world's largest tech companies, auto-removal of content promoting terrorism could prove difficult and result in a number sites and posts being unnecessarily removed. 

Image Credit: Kaspri / Shutterstock

After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.