Web giants to cooperate on removal of extremist content

By Julia Fioretti | BRUSSELS

Web giants YouTube (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O), Twitter (TWTR.N) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) will step up efforts to remove extremist content from their websites by creating a common database.

The companies will share ‘hashes’ – unique digital fingerprints they automatically assign to videos or photos – of extremist content they have removed from their websites to enable their peers to identify the same content on their platforms.

“We hope this collaboration will lead to greater efficiency as we continue to enforce our policies to help curb the pressing global issue of terrorist content online,” the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.

Tech companies have long resisted outside intervention in how their sites should be policed, but have come under increasing pressure from Western governments to do more to remove extremist content following a wave of militant attacks.

YouTube and Facebook have begun to use hashes to automatically remove extremist content.

But many providers have relied until now mainly on users to flag content that violates terms of service. Flagged material is then individually reviewed by human editors who delete postings found to be in violation.

Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts between February and August this year and has expanded the teams reviewing reports of extremist content.

Each company will decide what image and video hashes to add to the database and matching content will not be automatically removed, they said.

The database will be up and running in early 2017 and more companies could be brought into the partnership.

The European Union set up an EU Internet Forum last year bringing together the internet companies, interior ministers and the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator to find ways of removing extremist content.


Omar Todd – Social Media and Business Metrics

Omar Todd has held the position of Global Technical Director of the Sea Shepherd Global since December 2012. He knows how to use social media to get tangible and specific results.

Omar Todd

Even today a lot of business people, including C-level executives, VPs, and managing directors are afraid of social media. It is easy to understand why. Business people at this level are very busy. They are managing teams of people, making important decisions about strategy, reporting to investors.

This lack of familiarity and understanding often results in contempt. Such people don’t understand how social media can be used for business. They have a lot of fears. One of them is “people will say bad things about my company, and I won’t be able to do anything about it.”

Social media can be used to improve all three of the most important business metrics: revenue, cost savings, and customer satisfaction.

The smart approach is to figure out what social media can do for your business, and then focus on the metrics that matter most to you. In addition to improving sales and customer satisfaction, social media can help businesses build loyalty, improve brand image, conduct research, and more.

For example, if you have issued a recall notice and your product has been featured in the news from a negative angle, your goal could be to use social media to protect your brand’s reputation. Your measure of success in this scenario could be a decrease in negative searches on Google that include your company name and a reduction of the number of negative comments on certain websites and pages.

Omar Todd knows how to tackle business problems using social media. If you are interested in social media solutions that deliver results, you can seek him out for help.

Omar Todd – Things You Can Do To Help Save The Ocean

As the Global Technical Director for Sea Shepherd Global, Omar Todd is very interested in providing information and continued education to people who wish to do whatever they can to ensure the world’s oceans are conserved and stay as safe as possible for the marine life that call them home. The following are all things that the average person can do to help save the ocean.

Omar Todd

Be Aware Of The Seafood You Eat

Many marine conservation organizations try to raise awareness of fishing practices that are actually harmful to the natural environments that the fish inhabit. Be aware of the products that you purchase from seafood companies and do some research to ensure they use sustainable fishing techniques before you offer them any of your hard-earned money for their products.

Take Care Of The Beach

If you live in a coastal area, or you just happen to be visiting, pay particular attention to the condition of any beaches that you encounter. Many people fail to clear up after themselves following trips to the beach, which can lead to plastics and other harmful trash finding its way into the ocean once the tide comes in. Spend a little bit of time clearing up the beach to prevent this from happening.

Use Less Plastic

On a related point, Omar Todd recognizes that plastic products wreak havoc amongst marine life. Discarded products often lead to animals becoming entangled and are responsible for thousands of deaths every year. Re-use what you can and recycle the products that you don’t need anymore.

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Omar Todd – Building a Social Media Presence

As the Global Technical Director for Sea Shepherd Global, Omar Todd is responsible for managing the organization’s social media presence. Often working with limited resources, Todd has helped to enhance the reputation of the non-profit to the point where it now has millions of followers worldwide. He was able to do this because of his experience in building social media presences for other organizations, with the following tips likely to prove useful for anybody who wants to achieve similar goals.

Omar Todd

Know Your Audience

Before you start providing regular updates on your social media accounts, it is important that you know the audience you aim to appeal to. This will dictate the type of content that you post and share. Failing to understand your audience will lead to them not engaging in the content on your social media profiles or, in worst case scenarios, actively avoiding the things that you post.

Be Human

Human interaction is key on social media, as implied by the term itself, so it is important that the things you post don’t come off as the words of a faceless corporation. Engage with people who send comments or posts and try to make use of a little humor every now and again.

Get Active

Omar Todd points out that inactivity can be the death knell for a social media page. After all, if you offer nothing to your existing followers, what incentive will they have to share your page or content with others? Be consistent with your updates and make sure you’re always looking to offer something new and interesting to followers.


Omar Todd – How Education Benefits You

Omar Todd has long been an advocate for good education and he notes that even basic schooling can provide advantages to people that they would often not receive in other circumstances. There are many ways that education benefits you, with all of the below being amongst the most important.

Omar Todd

Career Prospects

One of the most important advantages of education is the career options that are provided to those who have focused on learning as much as they can. Most businesses will look to hire people who have proven that they are willing to work hard in order to improve themselves, which is why many companies look towards college graduates and others with high levels of education when seeking out management staff. Naturally, increased career prospects also improves your chances of earning a higher salary.

Social Interactions

A good education also provides you with a greater understanding of the world around you, which in turn means that you will be much more likely to engage others in conversation. Having a breadth of knowledge about a wide range of subjects makes you a more interesting person to converse with, increasing the likelihood of positive social interactions with the people around you.

Understanding Social Issues

Omar Todd has spent much of his life educating himself about many social issues, including marine conservation and the need for transparency in government. A good education will often lead to the development of a more inquisitive mind, which may lead to you exploring, understanding and combating social issues that may never have even ended up on your radar in other circumstances.

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Omar Todd – Cyber Security Tips For Small Businesses

Omar Todd has been involved in cyber security for more than thirty years, primarily in his role as the Chief Security Expert at Omar Todd Cyber Security. He is also a council member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), which is a global organization dedicated to the subject of cyber security. He notes that many small businesses often underestimate their need for adequate security measures that will protect them from cyber-attacks, which can lead to them facing a range of issues. These pointers should help such businesses protect themselves, regardless of their budgets.

Omar Todd

Use Anti-Virus Software

As basic a tip as it may be, there are still many companies that fail to protect their networks with suitable anti-virus software. There are many software vendors that provide anti-virus and anti-malware software, so make sure you do some research to see which would be most suitable for your network. Almost as important is ensuring that you install any patches or updates provided by your vendor, as an out of date software is vulnerable to attacks from those using the latest techniques.

Establish A Secure Workplace Culture

Staff at your company should be aware of the personal responsibility they assume whenever dealing with sensitive information. They should understand the importance of using passwords that are difficult to decipher, changing said passwords on a regular basis and not revealing such information to anybody. Make sure that you outline clear consequences for violating the policies that you put in place, which may extend as far as legal action in the worst cases, but also ensure that you provide adequate training so that staff members fully understand important security issues.

Back Up All Important Data

Any important data that your company handles should be backed up regularly and either stored off-site, in a secure location, or in a private and well-protected cloud. This will ensure your company is able to rebound quickly should a cyber-attack lead to the loss of important data. Ideally you should back up data automatically and at least once a week, though doing it more regularly is always going to be preferable.

Control Access

Omar Todd notes that many cyber security breaches occur when somebody who is not supposed to be able to access a business computer or network manages to do so. This is why it is important to control access to your building, particularly areas where sensitive data is stored. All employees should have ID, preferably of the kind that makes use of a unique identifying feature. Furthermore, security staff, receptionists and other front-desk employees should be vigilant in monitoring the company’s comings and goings. Even simple measures, such as having a sign-in sheet for visitors, will offer you more control.

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