By Meraj Abid
On 28 September, a large-scale voluntary Referral Action Day between TikTok, Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) and 11 countries took place targeting suspected terrorist and violent extremist content online. In collaboration with the video sharing platform TikTok, investigators from the participating countries, together with the ECTC’s European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU), performed an exercise to detect material glorifying past terrorist attacks or terrorist perpetrators.
TikTok regularly publishes content removal statistics for violent extremism content in its quarterly transparency reports. The latest report shows that TikTok proactively removed 95% of violent extremism content.
As part of the joint exercise, some 2 145 pieces of content were assessed and flagged to TikTok for voluntary review against their terms of service. Among the referred content were items linked to jihadism and violent right-wing extremism and terrorism, such as videos and memes.
The action was put in motion by Spain and the EU IRU, in cooperation with law enforcement authorities from Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
This Referral Action Day is part of an ongoing public-private partnership between TikTok, law enforcement agencies and Europol that aims to address terrorists’ abuse of the internet, prevent online radicalisation and safeguard fundamental rights.
Europol has conducted similar exercises with other platforms.