Tech Giants Team Up Against Terrorism

We are in the business of giving parents advice when it comes to kids, teens and social media. Frankly, in a lot of situations the right advice is telling parents, “Talk to your kids” or, “Make sure your kids are talking to you.” Unfortunately, some of the time that involves telling your kids not to do something they were intending to do, or something “all their friends are doing”.

Still, it’s good advice. Here’s another thing you should talk to your kids about, and it doesn’t involve telling them that they’re doing something wrong. Talk to your kids about reporting possible terrorist activity if they see it online.

Today social media giants Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft (Skype and LinkedIn) announced that they will be collaborating to share best practices around preventing the spread of terrorist activity online. According to the Facebook release:

“Starting today, we commit to the creation of a shared industry database of “hashes” — unique digital “fingerprints” — for violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images that we have removed from our services. By sharing this information with each other, we may use the shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on our respective hosted consumer platforms.”

Of course, if you’re an adult and you see some terrorist-related online – a threat, possible recruiting activity – you report it, either to the social media company or the police. Are you sure that your kids would do the same?

Consider school fight videos that are constantly being shared online. In addition to the person filming the video that was posted, the bystanders are often standing around filming the event rather than stepping in to help. It happens too often.

Surveys show that kids and teens are similarly reticent to report cyberbullying and other toxic behavior when they see them online. That’s another issue, but when it comes to terrorism, there is no excuse for not saying something. And the downside for falsely reporting something that is not terrorism (if you think it is) is zero.

Make sure your kids know that reporting terrorism is the right thing to do.



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