GIFCT's 2022 Transparency + Annual Reports

News: Our Progress in 2022
14 December 2022 GIFCT
In News

Today, GIFCT publishes its 2022 Transparency and Annual Reports sharing the latest updates and progress from our collective efforts with member tech companies and our multi-stakeholder community to advance our mission. GIFCT’s Annual Report continues to provide both longstanding and new stakeholders information about GIFCT as an organization and our efforts throughout the year. Our Transparency Report provides metrics and information about our progress so others can see how GIFCT is doing in advancing our mission.

Our Latest Progress

Today, we are thrilled to welcome three new companies as GIFCT members – GIPHY, Niantic, and Google (who was previously engaged with GIFCT as the parent company of founding member YouTube). In 2022, we’ve grown our membership from 18 to 22 tech companies operating diverse platforms and services committed to our mission and vision. New members bring new opportunities to learn how companies approach their efforts to prevent terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting their platforms, what they have achieved to date, and how we can collectively strengthen our capacity to counter terrorism and violent extremism online.

Our three strategic pillars – Prevent, Respond, and Learn – guide and organize GIFCT’s work to support its members. This year we continued to enhance our resources and strengthen our efforts across all three:

Strategic Pillar: Prevent

GIFCT’s Hash-Sharing Database is currently our leading cross-platform technical solution that allows members to identify if and where terrorists or violent extremists are attempting to share content to exploit their platforms. The database now contains approximately 370,000 unique and distinct items made from 2.1 million hashes. These 370,000 unique items relate to approximately 280,000 visually distinct images, 90,000 visually distinct videos, and 200 textually distinct items related to PDFs of known terrorist and violent extremist content.

To ensure that GIFCT keeps pace with the evolving terrorist threat, we have now added hashes of PDFs of terrorist and violent extremist attacker manifestos to the database and further work to hash branded terrorist and violent extremist publications will take place next year. We have also 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 and content that activates GIFCT’s Content Incident and CIP. Adding these hashes to GIFCT’s Hash-Sharing Database enables us and our members to strengthen efforts to address some of the latest adversarial shifts in terrorist and violent extremist attempts to exploit digital platforms.

Strategic Pillar: Respond

GIFCT works to support members effectively respond to terrorist events with a significant online aspect, particularly where perpetrator-produced content is circulated as part of an attack. Since the initial development of GIFCT’s Incident Response Framework and Content Incident Protocol (CIP) in 2019, GIFCT and our members have initiated communications to share situational awareness and information in response to over 306 terrorist or mass violence events and significant online terrorist developments in 44 countries across 6 continents.

Strategic Pillar: Learn

GIFCT provides action-oriented research and knowledge sharing to enable the exchange of information across sectors about terrorist and violent extremist exploitation of the internet and the solutions to counter it. This year, our academic research network, the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET), published 116 insights – short, concise papers that empower experts to probe and explore contentious issues and identify the latest attempts to exploit digital platforms – from 120 contributors from 24 countries. With our partner Tech Against Terrorism, we convened 446 participants over a years-long series of e-learning webinars and hosted our 14th Regional Workshop in Accra, Ghana, the first Workshop hosted on the African continent and focused on the current threat landscape in the West Africa region and its nexus to online activity.

Convening our members and our multi-stakeholder community was essential to our progress. This July we hosted the first in-person GIFCT Global Summit since becoming an independent organization, bringing our members and Independent Advisory Committee together for concerted discussions on the current threat landscape and where GIFCT’s progress needs to take us next. In the fall, we successfully kicked off Year 3 of GIFCT Working Groups with 207 participants from 43 countries across six continents, with 59% drawn from advocacy organizations, academia or practitioners, 18.4% representing governments, and 22.7% in tech.

Assessing our Progress

This is the first time we are publishing our yearly Transparency and Annual Reports at the same time, comprising the latest updates and progress achieved in 2022. In this year’s Transparency Report, we sought to provide new metrics, greater insights, and more context about the work we do to support our members and convene our global multi-stakeholder community. It is somewhat unique for a nonprofit organization to release a transparency report. However, since GIFCT develops and manages tools that help to facilitate and strengthen tech companies’ efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism, and because we require our members to produce such reports, we hold ourselves accountable to the same standard.

Here are key advancements and enhancements we’ve made to our 2022 Transparency Report:

  • About Members and Mentorship:
    • Greater depth and insights from previously available information about GIFCT’s membership criteria and mentorship process
    • New metrics about progress tech companies have made as a result of pursuing GIFCT membership and through the Tech Against Terrorism mentorship process with regard to transparency reporting, human rights commitments, and updates to enforcing policies and terms of service prohibiting terrorist and violent extremist activity
    • Introduction of GIFCT’s membership criteria annual review process, led by Tech Against Terrorism, to ensure existing GIFCT members continue to fulfill membership criteria
  • About our Human Rights Impact Assessment:
    • Detailed accounting of GIFCT’s progress against the recommendations in the 2021 published Human Rights Impact Assessment of GIFCT. Notable achievements in 2022 include the publication of our human rights policy and the incorporation of human rights questions into multiple outputs from Year 2 Working Groups
  • About GIFCT Working Groups:
    • List of organizational affiliations of the participants in Year 3 GIFCT Working Groups, taking place from 2022-2023, and links to the previous year’s outputs
  • About Strategic Pillar: Prevent:
    • Updates on the completed transition of Management and Oversight of the Hash-Sharing Database to GIFCT’s team, a legacy from GIFCT’s previous formation as a member consortium that has now concluded
    • Enhanced metrics and insights on the latest composition of content corresponding to hashes in GIFCT’s Hash-Sharing Database.
    • Enhanced information about how members use the Hash-Sharing Database and the processes and procedures to address questions and inaccuracies in the database
    • Delivery of findings from GIFCT’s first sampling and review exercise of hashes to ensure quality and reliability of the Hash-Sharing Database for members
  • About Strategic Pillar: Respond:
    • Enhanced, granular details and results of GIFCT’s efforts with and among its members to share situational awareness and information in response to offline violent events in an effort to identify any online dimensions tied to the event
    • Introduction of GIFCT’s debrief process for the Content Incident Protocol and initial findings from debriefs that took place in 2022
    • Concerted list of focus-areas for further improvements to GIFCT’s Incident Response Framework in 2023

Operating with transparency as a core value, these two reports allow us to inform about GIFCT’s work and help us remain accountable to our mission and values. We see these reports as a meaningful opportunity to identify where greater transparency can offer our global community the ability to understand our approach, the efforts we take to address the current threat landscape online, and how we are advancing our mission.

We are grateful to our members, our Operating Board – chaired this year by Leslie Miller, Vice President of Public Policy at YouTube, – our Independent Advisory Committee, our partners, and our global community for their dedication to this work. GIFCT’s progress is the result of experts and practitioners from across sectors and around the world participating and contributing to our shared efforts. We look forward to what more we can achieve together in 2023.

2022 Transparency Report 2022 Annual Report