The tension between Theresa May and Facebook on online extremism

Theresa May

Theresa May’s claim that the technology giant of the breed of extremist ideologies has created a quick reaction from Facebook.


Theresa May
Reply Theresa Mays to terrorist attack London Bridge surprised high-tech companies

Only 12 hours after the attack on the London Bridge, the Prime Minister was clear where at least part of the debt lies.

“We can not allow this ideology to be the safe space to breed them,” said Theresa May on Downing Street steps.

“But that is exactly what the Internet offers. And large companies that provide Internet-based services ”

It was amazing, after the last attack, where facts are unsafe and where the victims have not yet been named, for the Prime Minister to make such a reaction to the policy.

She continued, “We must work with the allies and democratic governments to achieve international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorism planning.

“And we have to do everything we can at home reduce the risk of online extremism”.

They also published a statement about Facebook and social media giant was the first to respond.

You do not have to read between the lines to see that Facebook is not happy. The company believes it is already quite a lot.

The Director of the Directive, Facebook wrote, “Through a combination of technology and human assessment, we are working aggressively to eliminate the terrorist content on our platform as soon as we are aware.

“If we become aware of emergency emergencies immediately imminent harm to someone’s security, we recommend the application of the law.

“Online extremism can not be addressed with strong partnerships. We are working for a long time with the policy, civil society and others in the technology industry, and we are determined to continue this important work together. ”

Sources of other technology companies also emphasize, in their view required, they work with the government.

They were surprised, quickly shocked by the PM.

“Today is not the day of a public hearing,” said a source.

In his statement, the Prime Minister drove in two separate agendas “spread extremism” and “planning attacks.”

Firstly, it makes sense for technology companies to do a little more. In recent years, they have removed much faster videos and accounts are expelled.

And here the interest of the government and technology companies are fairly aligned: social networks do not want harmful content on their site – both users and advertisers happy.

The problem is the content, which is obviously not terrorists and illegal. When she becomes free expression extremism?
The government itself has struggled to define extremism law and technology companies can not do better.

The second part – “terror planning” – is a hint to end the problems posed by the encryption end. Encryption allows users to be safe, but it is also difficult for governments to monitor communications.

The question is long. The attacks of Westminster and Manchester have brought us to our attention.

What is often overlooked is that the government already has the legal authority to provide companies to order non-encrypted communications. But he never turned them.

This could change. And that will indeed lead to a great confrontation.