The event that happened at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper headquarters has changed the world’s view upon terrorism in many ways. And also the terrorists have started in taking a lot of drastic measures towards those that they thought that are standing in their way. Something that used to be a source of humor has ended up being a tragedy and also a source of threat to everyone in the world and especially in France. Dozens of killings have been staged and filmed in order to be put online and raise attention towards what terrorism actually looks like. Propaganda has taken the place of normal and rather peaceful news. The French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve believes that if he takes measures, something will have to change soon. As a consequence, he has met with Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter to discuss in which ways they can help in stopping the terrorists from using their platforms as stages for propaganda.
Cazeneuve said during a press conference at the French consulate in San Francisco yesterday that:
“We had frank, rich, deep discussions. We don’t want to have to go through the usual government channels that can take so long; it is important to have direct communication. I stressed the importance of counter-speech to contradict hate messages and protect the most vulnerable citizens and prevent them from joining in terrorism.”
A follow-up meeting will take place in Paris in April, where the executives of Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter were invited to dig deeper into the problem and find a proper code of conduct together.
Mr. Cazeneuve did not ask that the platforms take down or censor the photos, posts, video or other digital content that has been updated on their websites and social media, but he did specify that the terrorist propaganda reported has to be removed as soon as possible. The reason beneath his proposal is that the terrorists use these platforms to post certain things that help them inform, recruit and indoctrinate new followers.
He said that the most important thing is to have full cooperation and quick reaction against terrorism propaganda. The visit that Cazeneuve had for only one day in San Francisco and Silicon Valley has happened just some weeks apart from the terrorist attacks in Paris that have left 20 people dead.
A Facebook spokesman has given a full speech about the response that the company has given to the French approach.
“We regularly host ministers and other governmental officials from across the world at Facebook, and were happy to welcome Mr. Cazeneuve today. We work aggressively to ensure that we do not have terrorists or terror groups using the site, and we also remove any content that praises or supports terrorism.”
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