GIFCT may be the most important acronym you’ve never heard of, and it is posed to change the way the internet is governed in radical ways.
GIFCT stands for the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and represents a novel approach to governing the internet by centralizing content moderation in a single entity, whose decision-making is based on collaboration between the tech sector and governments. Although this industry-led effort began in response to ISIS’ use of social media and was ostensibly intended to focus only on terrorism, its remit has already expanded. And governments like what they see.
When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for social media reform in the wake of the deadly 2019 anti-Muslim attacks in Christchurch that were live streamed in a made-for-the-internet attack, the world rallied around her. More than 50 governments and the world’s most influential social media platforms signed the Christchurch Call, pledging to “eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.” The GIFCT has become the primary vehicle for implementing the pledge.
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