The United Kingdom has been attacked by ISIS inspired terrorists for the third time in three months. The last terrorist attack in London caused the deaths of at least seven innocent people. The London Terrorist Attack came soon after the Manchester Arena terrorist attack and caused outrage in Britain and internationally. On Sunday, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for stricter regulation of the internet and a few hours later Facebook responded by pledging to root-out terrorists from its social media platform.

British Prime Minister’s call for closer regulation

Theresa May has declared that “enough is enough” and announced policy changes regarding the prevention of terrorism. The Prime Minister called for a stricter regulation of the internet. She said that terrorists must be denied the various digital tools they use to communicate and prepare terrorist attacks. May also said that this dangerous terrorist ideology cannot be allowed any space to breed and criticized big internet companies for allowing them to do that by providing unregulated internet based services. She added that democratic governments all over the world must do everything to minimize the risk of online extremism.

Facebook’s immediate response

A few hours later, Simon Milner, Facebook’s policy director said that the company is working “aggressively” to remove terrorists and terrorism related content from its social media platform. He added that the company is working towards making Facebook a “hostile” place for terrorists. This is indeed a very important pledge that reveals that Facebook understands the problem and is working towards a solution.

The significance of Facebook’s pledge

Big technology companies are under a lot of pressure, especially in Europe, ever since terrorism related violence escalated for not properly handling threats and hate speech. Almost all big technology companies have encrypted channels that shield any communication among users from the authorities.

Milner said that Facebook alerts authorities whenever it becomes aware of suspicious communication in order to prevent terrorist attacks. Twitter also responded with similar statements saying that “terrorism has no place on Twitter."

These anti-terrorist pledges are very significant as they demonstrate that the civilized world will no longer tolerate terrorism. Hopefully all big technology companies will cooperate with authorities on preventing future terrorist activities. Another important role that big social media companies can play is to facilitate re-education in order to minimize terrorism. Prevention alone has failed. It has to be combined with re-education in order to have the desired results.

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