ISIS Al-Qaeda Militants Fighting Syrian Civil War

Short Bytes: On 24th February, White House invited the biggest names in the tech world to discuss the plans to defeat ISIS online. However, the meeting only reflected the flawed approach of Obama administration that went on to ask Facebook and Google to change their algorithms to hide pro-ISIS stuff.

Last week, White House tried to bring together the biggest name in the technology world to fight the online threats of ISIS. The executives from Facebook, Apple, Snapchat, Twitter, and MTV met at the Justice Department to talk about a project nicknamed “Madison Valleywood”. In this meeting, the plans to tackle ISIS on social media was discussed.

While the agenda of the meeting was to appeal for help from the Silicon Valley, the tension between the White House and technology companies is at an all-time high due to the current stance of government in the FBI vs. Apple case. At the meeting, BuzzFeed was present as a reporter and its representative Sheera Frenkel has written a detailed report regarding the Obama Administration’s attempt to fight ISIS.

The report cites quotes from various attendees who rejected the American government’s understanding and its proposed propaganda to curb ISIS online. In the meeting, instead of discussing something concrete, the White House officials laid pointless plans that included making Facebook and Google change their algorithms to hide pro-ISIS stuff and promote anti-ISIS results.

However, both technology companies rejected this idea, calling it far from the realm of reasonable.

The Pentagon spoke with several companies — who asked not to be named as a condition of discussing the meeting with BuzzFeed News — about tweaking their algorithms to promote certain types of content. Both Google and Facebook have made it clear that they would not make changes to their algorithms to bury results supportive of ISIS.

Google’s representative said that it reflects how little the government understands us. Calling it a pandora’s box, the representative said, “If we answer a request by the U.S. government to feature one search result over another what’s to stop other countries from requesting the same?”

While the social media companies are already working to fight ISIS online, Obama administration’s request shows the ignorant nature of government and how clueless they are about why ISIS propaganda is effective.

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Also read: ISIS Launches Its First Official Android App For Recruiting New Followers