September 20, 2017

ORG response to calls for automated takedowns of online extremist content

ORG has issued a response to the Government’s call for Internet companies to do more to automatically detect and remove extremist content online.


Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said:

“Internet companies have a role to play in removing illegal content from their platforms but we need to recognise the limitations of relying on automated takedowns. Mistakes will inevitably be made – by removing the wrong content and by missing extremist material.

“Given the global reach of these companies, automated takedowns will have a wide-reaching effect on the content we see, although not necessarily on the spread of extremist ideas as terrorists will switch to using other platforms.”

“There needs to be transparency about where takedown requests come from and what is being taken down automatically; there also need to be clear routes for appeal when mistakes are made.”

“There are also wider implications. This move by the British, French and Italian Governments could also be used to justify the actions of authoritarian regimes, such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran, who want companies to remove content that they find disagreeable.”

For more information, email press@openrightsgroup.org