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EUROPOL and EU hunt Islamic State and al-Qaeda propaganda on WordPress

EUROPOL on 14 and 15 March 2018 took part in two Referral Action Days against Islamic State and al-Qaeda cyber terrorism. More than 900 items discovered and flagged

EUROPOL on 14 and 15 March 2018 took part in two Referral Action Days against Islamic State and al-Qaeda cyber terrorism. The operation has been conducted with Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Slovenia and UK. The Europol’s European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) together with colleagues from the national referral units targeted terrorist content located on WordPress.com and VideoPress, a video-hosting service for WordPress sites. The intensive referral campaign identified over 900 items of branded terrorist propaganda, that were swiftly flagged to the platform moderators for further review and eventual removal. During the operation, the specialised law enforcement units performed a qualitative assessment of the detected content, highlighting emerging patterns in terrorists abusing online platforms and promoting content intending to radicalise, recruit and propagate terrorist activities.

Among the items found on WordPress and VideoPress were propaganda videos and webpages, glorifying or supporting Daesh and al-Qaeda terrorism and extremism

EUROPOL reported in a press release that “This coordinated action against online terrorist propaganda, focused mainly on the online production of terrorist materials by media outlets affiliated with the so-called Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Among the items referred were propaganda videos and webpages, glorifying or supporting terrorism and extremism. The final removal of the referred material is a voluntary activity by the platforms involved, taking into consideration their own terms and conditions. Both national referral units and the EU IRU cooperate with the platforms to restrict availability of online content which promotes terrorism or incites violence. During the Referral Action Days Europol promotes a coordinated approach to fighting terrorist propaganda online. Similar joint action, involving EU Member States and online industry partners, will continue to be organised on a regular basis”.

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