News: Expanding our Collective Capacity

News: Expanding our Collective Capacity
20 September 2022 GIFCT
In News

Three years ago at the 2019 United Nations General Assembly, GIFCT’s founders institutionalized the spirit of the Christchurch Call evolving GIFCT to an expert-led independent organization working with our now 19 technology company members. Today we share the latest progress and next steps.

Growing our Membership

We are thrilled to welcome Clubhouse to GIFCT, growing our membership to 19 technology companies committed to our mission to prevent terrorist and violent extremist exploitation of digital platforms. Each new member enables us to expand and strengthen our collective capacity, bringing new technology and expertise to the table and supporting our efforts to develop further cross-platform technical solutions. 

Advancing our Cross-Platform Technical Solutions

We continue to build technical solutions that strengthen how our members can combat attempts to exploit their platforms and improve the health of the broader online ecosystem. Building on our progress to identify and counter terrorist and violent extremist content, we have now begun to add hashes of PDFs of attacker manifestos and terrorist publications to the GIFCT hash-sharing database and have completed the technical work to add hashes from Tech Against Terrorism of URLs from the Terrorist Content Analytics Platform (TCAP) tied to entities on the United Nations Security Council’s Consolidated Sanctions list. We will have further updates on this effort when we publish the 2022 GIFCT Transparency Report this coming December.

Advancing beyond video and image hashing allows GIFCT and its members to address adversarial shifts in attempts to share terrorist and violent extremist content on digital platforms and enables more platforms, beyond those hosting recorded image and video content, to harness GIFCT’s collective capacity in line with their respective policies and enforcement practices. Working with our members and the tech community, we are now seeking proposals to develop the next series of technical advancements including detecting nuanced speech specifically tied to violent extremism in different languages, classifying detected content as terrorist or violent extremist content, and soon, hashing audio content.

Kicking Off Year 3 of GIFCT Working Groups

Continuing to bring together our global community of experts and practitioners from tech, government, academia and civil society to understand the current online threat landscape and develop solutions and guidance is essential to our mission. GIFCT hosts year-long Working Groups, bringing together experts from diverse stakeholder groups, geographies, and disciplines to drive progress in specific thematic areas and deliver on targeted, substantive projects. The resulting Working Group outputs contribute to growing GIFCT’s capacities to deliver guidance and solutions to technology companies and our wider community of counterterrorism and counter-extremism practitioners.

We now welcome our community to apply to Year 3 of GIFCT Working Groups that will commence later this fall with topics and guiding questions that have been refreshed based on key gaps identified by Year 2 outputs as well as feedback from our members, our Independent Advisory Committee, and our previous Working Group participants. In Year 3, participants will explore and drive progress across the following 5 topics:

  1. Refining Crisis Response: Building Nuance and Evaluation Frameworks: This group will aim to further refine GIFCT and government crisis response protocols, building upon last year’s mapping and Table Top exercises. This will include a discussion of impact metrics and ways of assessing best practices.
  2. Red Teaming: Assessing Threat and Safety by Design: This group will identify parts of the tech stack and types of digital platforms to Red Team vulnerabilities and produce best practices for safety-by-design and risk mitigations within a human rights framework.
  3. Blue Teaming Alternative Platforms for Positive Interventions: This group will Blue Team positive interventions, building out tactics and friction strategies to better prevent and counter violent extremism across a wider tech stack. This builds on previous work mapping global counterspeech campaigns and understanding measurement and evaluation of campaigns.
  4. Frameworks for Meaningful Transparency: Building upon last year’s work, this group aims to establish better frameworks for transparency reporting, including a mapping of how to interpret “meaningful transparency” for different stakeholders on the topic of terrorism and violent extremism. This will include a review of third party oversight models and human rights considerations.
  5. Legal Frameworks: Animated Explainers on Definitions of Terrorism and Violent Extremism: This group will develop a series of short explanatory animations to follow on from 2022 research on applying terrorist definitions, and contribute to the GIFCT Definitions and Principles Framework Initiative. Videos will aim to make the nuanced discussions of definitions, designation lists, and human rights implications more accessible to a wider audience.

Our latest progress enables our members and stakeholders to strengthen their individual and collective efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism and we look forward to what we’ll achieve next.