Terrorism In America: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Will Now Remove All Content Promoting Widespread Violence

Terrorism in America and other nations around the world has been threatening nearly everything in its reach. It’s such a massive issue that one of President-elect Donald Trump’s most controversial plans to curb terrorist activity included putting a halt to immigration, especially from Syria.

Trump specifically mentioned temporarily stopping Muslim asylum seekers from entering the United States until the federal government had adequate screening protocols in place.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have all announced they will be doing their part to help curb the spread of terror. This includes removing all videos in which terrorist demands are made. If the terrorists are only making those videos or releasing those images for the express intent to get the word out, it could work.

The sites mentioned, as well as Microsoft, are using similar algorithms to the one Google uses to find people who engage in child pornography. In these cases, it determines the age of the person in the picture when the photo was taken, and the content involved, and uses that to stop its spread.

Terrorist videos often have a similar trend to them, but it could be trickier. Some musical artists like Marilyn Manson might find their music videos removed. This is due to his tendency to use shocking imagery to get the public’s attention.

This could also apply to video game footage, as some have been known to feature very “terrorist” imagery. Games in the first-person shooter and horror genres are the most likely suspects.

If the content in the videos and photos is simply being used to generate panic, then it’s likely promoting another recent issue in the media today. Fake news has run rampant, with legitimate sites being known to report using sources which make up the facts to gain popularity. The push to eliminate fake news has likely heavily impacted sites like The Onion and fact-checker Snopes, as both are known to host it in different ways.

The big question, which has led to cries of censorship, says TechCrunch, is what will be considered terrorist content. Again, music videos, movie trailers, and video game footage could end up getting the proverbial ax by accident if a line isn’t drawn clearly enough.

Facebook has come out to state that while they don’t directly share personal information, it doesn’t mean they aren’t collecting it, and the U.S. government has the legal right to demand said information for the purposes of preventing terrorism. You might want to think twice before sharing a video or photo with terrorist imagery, even if you’re criticizing it, as the government watchdogs could be keeping a closer eye on you after that.

Text-based terrorism might also get cut off, meaning any rant about killing people could end up getting you in trouble. Of course, many of us have our bad days and don’t actually mean it, and others yet are known to emulate video reviewers like Doug Walker and overreact to movies they consider terrible.

The removal of terrorist content appears to be growing in popularity among the social media giants, as recently it was suggested that Donald Trump should be removed from Twitter and Facebook for his tendency to rant. Twitter has stated that he isn’t going anywhere as long as he doesn’t violate the site’s rules on hate speech and threats. USA Today states this follows an action resulting in over 200 thousand accounts being suspended.

This new internet initiative might not stop actual terrorism, as the World Trade Center attack in 2001 wasn’t caused by social media rants. It might stop people with a certain mindset from getting the idea to go through with it, though. It’s a well-known fact that what we see could influence how we act, and if Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube move to eliminate it, they could help curb terrorism in America.

[Featured Image by andriano.cz / Shutterstock.com]

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