On 21-22 November 2019, Europol’s European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) organised at its headquarters in The Hague the 16th joint Referral Action Days.
This coordinated action focused on the dissemination of online terrorist content. Among the items referred were propaganda videos and social media accounts glorifying or supporting terrorism and violent extremism.
Since July 2015, the EU IRU of Europol has been working with law enforcement authorities and online service providers to address the terrorist abuse of the internet in the framework of the EU Internet Forum.
Over the past year and a half, Europol has been collaborating with Telegram in tackling terrorism online. Building upon a previous Referral Action Days with Telegram in October 2018, the event this year was an opportunity for both parties to review the kind of content that terrorist groups attempt to disseminate online and further improve the referral process with the common aim of ensuring that material glorifying terrorism would be removed from internet as soon as possible.
Telegram is no place for violence, criminal activity and abusers. The company has put forth considerable effort to root out the abusers of the platform by both bolstering its technical capacity in countering malicious content and establishing close partnerships with international organisations such as Europol.
Thanks to this collaboration, the already-existing content referral tools available to Telegram’s users have been strengthened and expanded. Now, any user is able to refer and classify the content they find inappropriate and violent via the referral feature in public groups and channels. In addition, new technical developments, such as the advanced automated content detection system, continue to strengthen Telegram’s effort in obliterating extremism on the platform even further.
As concluded by Telegram’s representative: “We found the Referral Action Days productive and useful. We support free speech and peaceful protest, but terrorism and propaganda of violence have no place on Telegram. We are constantly improving our internal procedures and moderation tools to ensure that our platform stays free of abuse”.