The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism: Balancing Online Content Moderation and the Rule of Law

 

Founded in 2017, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) was established as a collaborative forum between social media companies to disrupt terrorist and violent extremist exploitation of digital communications technologies. After transitioning to an independent, standalone organization in 2020, appointing new leadership, and establishing thematic working group, the organization is also facing concerns from civil society and digital freedom groups regarding GIFCT's role towards international freedom of expression, transparency, and partnerships with government and industry. 

On Thursday, August 27th at 1:00 PM EST, the Program on Extremism at George Washington University in conjunction with the Global Network on Extremism and Technology hosted a virtual event exploring the GIFCT's approach to balancing its counter-terrorism responsibilities with its commitments to transparency and free expression. This panel brought together representatives of social media companies, academic researchers of the use of the internet by terrorist groups, and experts on platform governance.

The event began with introductory remarks from GIFCT Executive Director Nicholas J. Rasmussen. Following this was a discussion moderated by Program on Extremism Senior Research Fellow Bennett Clifford. The panelists included:

Audrey Alexander, Researcher and Instructor, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
Dina Hussein, Counter Terrorism Policy Manager, Facebook
Evelyn Douek, Lecturer on Law and S.J.D. Candidate, Harvard Law School and Affiliate, Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society