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G7 Governments Set ‘Alliance’ With Tech Giants To Fight Online Extremist Content

Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said that efforts would be made to target extremists' online "recruitment, training, and radicalization." (file photo)

Governments of the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrial nations say they will work with global technology giants in an effort to block the spread of Internet propaganda by Islamic extremist groups.

Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti on October 20 said the effort would target extremists' online "recruitment, training, and radicalization," much of it targeted toward European fighters "returning home" after battlefield defeats of Islamic State (IS) insurgents in Syria and Iraq.

The ministers said the governments would put their support behind the efforts of Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube, which in June created the Global Internet Forum to Combat Terrorism.

Speaking after a two-day meeting in Rome, Minniti said the effort was the first steps of a "great alliance" between governments and the global tech giants to combat extremism.

In the final communique, the G7 ministers said that "Internet companies will continue to take a proactive role and ensure decisive action in making their platforms more hostile to terrorism."

Gerard Collomb, the French interior minister, said one of the goals would be to ensure extremist material "is taken down within two hours of it going online."

Executives from Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft also attended the conference, but they did not specify how they would clamp down on online extremist content.

The G7 consists of the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, The Washington Post, and dpa