Terrorist and violent extremist exploitation of the Internet threatens open societies everywhere.
The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) is an NGO designed to prevent terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms. Founded by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube in 2017, the Forum was established to foster technical collaboration among member companies, advance relevant research, and share knowledge with smaller platforms. Since 2017, GIFCT’s membership has expanded beyond the founding companies to include over a dozen diverse platforms committed to cross-industry efforts to counter the spread of terrorist and violent extremist content online.
These efforts have evolved in conjunction with the Christchurch Call to Action, an initiative that governments, tech platforms, and civil society organizations committed to after the March 2019 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand and viral spread of the perpetrator’s live-streamed video of the attack. In addition to the Christchurch Call, tech companies also signed onto a nine-point plan designed to support industry efforts to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online. At an UNGA side event led by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron in September 2019, the founding companies announced that GIFCT would spin off as an independent 501(c)(3) with its own dedicated technology, counterterrorism, and operations teams.
Four foundational goals guide the newly independent organization’s work:
- Empower a broad range of technology companies, independently and collectively, with processes and tools to prevent and respond to abuse of their platforms by terrorists and violent extremists
- Enable multi-stakeholder engagement around terrorist and violent extremist misuse of the Internet and encourage stakeholders to meet key commitments consistent with the GIFCT mission
- Promote civil dialogue online and empower efforts to direct positive alternatives to the messages of terrorists and violent extremists
- Advance broad understanding of terrorist and violent extremist operations and their evolution, including the intersection of online and offline activities.
The mission of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism is to prevent terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms. Launched in 2020 as an independent, not-for-profit organization, GIFCT brings together the technology industry, government, civil society, and academia to foster collaboration and information-sharing to counter terrorist and violent extremist activity online. Central to our efforts is the protection and promotion of the fundamental human rights–to include freedom of expression–that terrorism seeks to undermine.