U.K.’s Rudd Continues Campaign Against Terrorism Content Online

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(Bloomberg) — Home Secretary Amber Rudd will call on Internet companies to do more to tackle extremist content during a visit to silicon valley as the U.K. steps up its drive to clamp down on on-line radicalization.

“Terrorists and extremists have sought to misuse your platforms to spread their hateful messages,” Rudd will tell technology companies including Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google in San Francisco on Tuesday, according to extracts of her speech emailed by her office. “The responsibility for tackling this threat at every level lies with both governments and with industry.”

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After four terror attacks in as many months in the U.K., Rudd made eliminating extremist content from social networks a priority of her tenure as Home Secretary. She met with officials from Facebook, Google, Microsoft Corp. and Twitter Inc. in March, a week after a car-and-knife attack on Westminster Bridge and Parliament, calling on them to tackle the problem “head-on.”

Tuesday’s meeting is the first by a forum of tech companies formed in the wake of the attacks. Its aim is to develop further technical tools to identify and remove terrorist propaganda from websites. Rudd will also hold a series of meetings with “the main communication service providers” in Silicon Valley, her office said.

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Rudd met with Facebook Inc’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg last month to hear about initiatives including the use of artificial intelligence to find and block terrorist content. She welcomed the company’s “commitment to take serious action” following the meeting.

The Home Secretary also asked Facebook to turn over encrypted WhatsApp messages from known terrorist suspects in the meeting, according to a report at the time in U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail. Facebook refused to do so, according to the Mail.

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