1 622 media content and social media accounts in 4 languages containing terrorist and violent extremist propaganda – hosted by 13 social media and online service providers - were processed for the purpose of referral by Europol.
Europol joined forces with the UK National Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) on a 36-hour operation to secure the removal of the material as quickly as possible. Several teams of Europol specialists, analysts, translators and counter-terrorism experts supported the British colleagues throughout the operation from the Agency's headquarters in The Hague.
The UK CTIRU had previously launched a national appeal for internet users to report harmful extremist and terrorist material when they see it online using the red "STOP" button. All last week, UK police and partners used their social media channels to urge people to report material they suspect is extremist or terrorist by clicking on a distinctive red "STOP" button that can be found on their websites. STOP stands for Stop Terrorists' and extremists' Online Presence.
After clicking on the button, web users were quickly directed to a short, anonymous form at www.gov.uk/report-terrorism where they were asked to enter the address of the webpage where they saw the material.
EU IRU, which is the European Union Internet Referral Unit within Europol, was launched in July 2015 to combat terrorist propaganda and related violent extremist activities on the internet e.g. terrorist propaganda videos, pictures of beheadings, bomb-making instructions and speeches calling for racial or religious violence.