UN Anti-Terrorism Tech Group Adds Taliban to Watchlist

UN Anti-Terrorism Tech Group Adds Taliban to Watchlist
Taliban terrorists stand guard in a vehicle along the roadside in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug.16, 2021. (AFP via Getty Images)

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A United Nations anti-terrorism group will begin adding Taliban content to a database used by tech companies to moderate their platforms.

Tech Against Terrorism, a group launched by the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) that works with the tech industry to combat terrorist threats, announced Monday it would begin including official Taliban content in its Terrorist Content Analytics Platform (TCAP), a database of terrorist images, videos, and manifestos. The database is used by tech platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to aid in content moderation.

“The Taliban was one of the groups that we have considered adding to the TCAP for a long time, however in light of recent events in Afghanistan and to provide clarity for the tech companies we work with on this (admittedly challenging) content moderation issue, we have decided to accelerate inclusion of official Taliban content,” the group said.

The TCAP was initially focused on content from Islamic State and al-Qaida, adding material from far-right groups such as the Proud Boys and Three Percenters in July. Tech Against Terrorism said it would continue to add groups to the database as it improved its methodology for identifying terrorist content.

“Initially, the TCAP has focused on a small set of designated violent Islamist and far-right terrorist groups,” the group said. “For us, this approach has been the right one, as it ensures that we as a non-governmental actor do not contribute to any undue norm-setting and prevent ‘content cartelization’ in our tech company support mechanisms.”

Links flagged in the TCAP are added to a shared database maintained by the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), an organization founded by Big Tech companies to combat online terrorism. Member companies, which include Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft, and Twitter, use the database to remove terrorist content from their platforms.

So far, GIFCT members have implemented mixed moderation policies with regards to Taliban material.

Twitter said it wouldn’t kick Taliban spokesmen off its platform so long as they complied with its rules, while Facebook and YouTube have banned material from the group. Twitter did not respond when asked for comment.

Tech Against Terrorism recommended tech companies remove Taliban content.

“Platforms should, in addition to looking to TCAP alerts and designation lists of democratic states, also assess groups, actors and the content they produce against based on their own rules on terrorism, violent extremism, and incitement to and/or glorification of violence,” the group said.

Tech Against Terrorism did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for additional comment.

By Thomas Catenacci

From The Daily Caller News Foundation

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