EU Hosts Anti-Extremist Tech Meeting

Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Facebook will be attending a private dinner between tech firms and government officials across the EU tonight.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss ways to tackle online extremism, including better cooperation between the EU and key sites.

Governments are said to be increasingly concerned over how social media is being used as a recruitment tool by radical Islamist groups. Details about the meeting could be shared by the EU later tonight ahead of the event.

28 ministers from the EU member states will be in attendance, as well as members of the European Commission and representatives from the technology companies.

The European Commission said: "There is strong interest from the European Union and the ministers of interior to enhance the dialogue with major companies from the internet industry on issues of mutual concerns related to online radicalisation."

Representing the UK government at the meeting will be security minister James Brokenshire.

He said: "We do not tolerate the existence of online terrorist and extremist propaganda, which directly influences people who are vulnerable to radicalisation.

"We already work with the internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas and continue to work with civil society groups to help them challenge those who promote extremist ideologies online. We have also made it easier for the public to report terrorist and extremist content via the website."

The government's Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, set up in 2010, has removed more than 49,000 pieces of content that is said to "encourage or glorify acts of terrorism".

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