On Wednesday, March 29 and today, Thursday, March 30, GIFCT in partnership with its 2023 Operating Board Chair, Meta, hosted a Hackathon with 14 GIFCT member companies to enhance the adoption and utility of GIFCT’s leading cross-platform technical solution, our hash-sharing database. GIFCT members participated both in-person and online and were joined by the Jigsaw, Tech Against Terrorism, the Tech Coalition, and StopNCII for cross-industry collaborative sessions focused on strengthening tech companies’ abilities to combat online harms through hash-matching technology.
The hackathon focused on supporting member companies to increase adoption of all the resources the database offers, from basic know-how as we increase the nuanced range of terrorist and violent extremist content the database addresses, to the adoption of more advanced tooling to label and provide feedback on hashes. During the event, GIFCT further led an exploration of ways to enhance our current processes and procedures for situational awareness and information-sharing during a developing terrorist or mass violent event in order to strengthen our collective readiness and agility to respond to the event’s online dynamics. This effort feeds directly into our work to constantly review and update our Incident Response Framework.
While GIFCT has provided a hash-sharing database since 2017, continuing to advance its technology, review its taxonomy for addressing terrorist and violent extremist content, and enhance how it can support a company’s ability to prevent and respond to exploitation of its platform must remain an ongoing priority in support of our mission. To ensure that GIFCT keeps pace with the evolving terrorist threat and adds value to each member, we continually evolve the hash-sharing database so that a greater range of different digital platforms can exchange signals of known terrorist and violent extremist content.
In her remarks addressing the event’s attendees GIFCT interim Executive Director, Dr. Erin Saltman, praised the dedication of our member companies in this effort. “Effectively countering terrorism and violent extremism online requires the commitment and expertise of the tech industry joining together to harness the power of our collective capacity. While remaining clear-eyed of the risks of exploitation of digital platforms, we are equally motivated by the opportunities only tech can deliver to counter and prevent violent extremism.”
Neil Potts, VP of Trust and Safety Policy at Meta and 2023 GIFCT Operating Board Chair underscored the importance of this convening. “This event is a landmark for GIFCT and our collective efforts to find solutions to some of the toughest threats we face online. Meta is committed to being a part of the solution, and we are eager to advance the cross-industry approach to mitigating terrorist activity online.”
This event also marked an important opportunity to connect and further foster the community of trust and safety professionals, engineering and technology experts, and tech policy practitioners committed to GIFCT and our mission. We continually study emerging trends and evolutions to terrorist and violent extremist activity, including engaging directly with our members on what they are seeing and anticipating to emerge from adversarial shifts. It is through this commitment amongst our community that we continue to make progress and we are grateful for those who joined us for the hackathon to do just that.