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  3. Etidal and Telegram to Increase Collaboration to Remove Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content

Etidal and Telegram to Increase Collaboration to Remove Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content

Riyadh, February 21st 2022 –  Today, the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal) and Telegram has confirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism (PCVE).

Over the past 3 years, Etidal has been collaborating with Telegram in reviewing online terrorism content in Arabic. Building on their success, both organizations have agreed to expand their coordination to detect and remove more systematically material in Arabic glorifying terrorism.

During a 4-week period, a team of Etidal’s specialized researchers performed an assessment of several thousands of channels suspected to host terrorist propaganda detecting patterns in their abuse of the platform’s services.

The resulting findings were shared with Telegram to allow them to review the detected content disseminated by terrorist groups on their platform. The final removal of the referred material is a voluntary activity by the concerned social media platforms, taking into consideration their own terms and conditions.

The coordinated action against online terrorist propaganda focused mainly on the distribution and production of terrorist material by Daesh (ISIS), Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and al-Qaeda affiliated media outlets. Among items referred were media files such as PDFs, videos and audios uploaded by the terrorist groups on Telegram and public Telegram channels hosting these materials.

It is estimated that in total 672,972 pieces of content and links have been removed through this partnership. Further actions ought to be repeated in the upcoming months.

Dr. Mansour AlShammari, Secretary-General of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal), has welcomed the enhanced cooperation and emphasized the commitment of Etidal to support Telegram in combating terrorism and violent extremism on its platform. “We seek cooperation and partnership in a systematic, accurate and professional manner, using the Center’s ideological, media and digital capabilities in order to achieve the desired noble goals. We will measure the success of our collaboration today and hope to establish such partnership as a model for other technology platforms to follow”. 

As concluded by Telegram’s representative: “We found partnering with Etidal productive and useful. We support free speech and peaceful protest, but terrorism and propaganda of violence have no place on Telegram. We are constantly improving our internal procedures and moderation tools to ensure that our platform stays free of abuse”.