Yubo Partners With Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) to Fight Terrorist & Extremist Online Content by 30Seconds Mom
As digital technology is integrated into many aspects of 21st-century life, the internet continues to take center stage. Consumer and business emails race through servers at lightning speed. Millions of consumers order products and services daily. For many users, staying in touch with family and friends via social media is most important.
The vast majority of internet traffic consists of such legitimate uses. However, cybercriminals and other scam artists seek to take advantage of unsuspecting users every day. Identity thieves, credit card fraudsters and other virtual miscreants constantly seek ways to harm others for their own benefit.
Terrorist and Violent Extremists Pose a Global Threat
Not surprisingly, terrorists and violent extremists often flock to the Internet to further their malicious goals. The internet’s global reach provides terrorists and extremists with a worldwide platform for their incendiary messages. They spread false information to stimulate conflict while attempting to attract more adherents to their causes.
Fortunately, there is now a growing pushback against internet-borne terrorism. In October 2020, the European Union (or EU) endorsed a new law mandating that terroristic content must be taken down within one hour of a removal order’s delivery.
Despite this encouraging development, an internet platform isn’t required to filter or monitor the content it receives. The platform is only required to take action after terroristic content is identified. Therefore, dedicated anti-terrorism organizations are expected to find and remove this content as part of their daily operations.
Yubo Joins GIFCT's Landmark Initiative to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Online Content
The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (or GIFCT) is a non-governmental organization (or NGO) that strives to prohibit terrorists and other violent extremists from infiltrating (and exploiting) digital platforms. To achieve this goal, GIFCT maintains a secure industry hash (or “digital fingerprint”) database of existing terrorist and violent extremist ideology materials and communications.
GIFCT member companies can easily access the NGO’s secure database. Once onsite, the member can locate and “hash” content such as videos, photos or PDFs. A “hash” appears as the original content’s digital signature or numerical presentation.
Hashes are very difficult to reverse engineer, so it is unlikely that cybercriminals can recreate a piece of content. GIFCT members can easily report and remove the hashed content from their platforms. They can accomplish this action without linking to an individual’s personal information. To date, companies in more than 140 countries have stepped up to partner with GIFCT in this worthwhile effort.
Yubo's Role in the GIFCT Global Initiative
On July 31, 2023, the GIFCT gained a dedicated (and far-reaching) online safety advocate. Yubo is the trending Gen Z live social discovery app with a global reach. This Paris-based company has joined with GIFCT to stamp out terrorist and violent extremist online content. GIFCT and its partner organizations seek to accomplish this goal via knowledge sharing, technical collaborations, and targeted research.
Yubo’s GIFCT membership will further the global organization’s anti-terrorist initiative. Yubo will use GIFCT’s hash-sharing database to pinpoint (and remove) offensive content shared to the Yubo app. This content has been linked to United Nations-named terrorist groups, terrorist publications, attacker manifestos and other violent extremist entities.
Yubo and GIFCT Leaders Applaud This Collaboration
Getting a participating organization’s leadership on board increases an initiative’s chances of success. Sacha Lazimi, Yubo’s co-founder and CEO, is pleased to team with Naureen Chowdhury Frink, the GIFCT Executive Director. Both organizations’ leaders expressed their dedication to the partnership and noted the significance of the collaboration.
Sacha Lazimi, Yubo CEO
“GIFCT’s hash database provides Yubo with a powerful tool to further strengthen our multifaceted approach to content moderation and more effectively identify and eliminate violent extremist content at scale.
“We look forward to expanding our support of GIFCT through this initiative and working with other member organizations to leverage technology to combat terrorism and enhance safety for all, on- and offline,” Sacha Lazimi emphasized.
Naureen Chowdhury Frink, GIFCT Executive Director
“The lifecycle of violent extremism is often extended through the dissemination of content online, and the support of member organizations like Yubo is crucial to breaking these cycles.
“We are grateful to our GIFCT member companies for their continued collaboration in our shared mission to prevent terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms. We welcome the important investments Yubo has made for the safety of its community,” Naureen Chowdhury Frink concluded.
Yubo is a Paris-based live social discovery platform geared to the Gen Z cohort. Teens and young adults gravitate to the popular Yubo app to chat, livestream and play games with same-aged users from across the globe.
Without the pressure of “Likes” and “Follows,” Yubo users are free to be authentic with each other. Today, more than 60 million users from over 140 countries engage on the Yubo platform.
Sustained Focus on User Safety
While Yubo encourages online socialization, the company’s leadership also places a strong emphasis on user safety. Yubo is the first major social media platform to require 100 percent user age verification. In addition, Yubo leads the industry in real-time livestream video and audio moderation.
Finally, Yubo has instituted multiple safeguards that strongly discourage users from sharing potentially harmful or inappropriate personal content. Specifically, the company wants to prevent sexually inappropriate images of minor users from being uploaded to the internet.
To prevent these occurrences, Yubo’s ever-present algorithm sends a pop-up alert to each user ready to post their image(s). The alert strongly recommends that the user reconsider their action. Human Safety Specialists are also on alert and can quickly step in if needed.
The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (or GIFCT) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. GIFCT’s overarching mission is to prohibit terrorists and violent extremists from utilizing digital platforms to achieve their destructive goals. GIFCT respects the universal human rights that terrorists and violent extremists seek to eliminate.
Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube established GIFCT in 2017. Today, this global technology-focused initiative involves more than 20 member technology companies. Each firm applies a distinct approach to resolving challenges related to technology and terrorism.
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