When Hillary Clinton, the presumptive leader in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, called on tech companies to do a better job of scrubbing their services of terrorism-related content, she was hardly the first politician to do so. Just a few days ago, President Obama made similar comments, and various members of Congress have been saying the same thing for the better part of a year.
But the terrorist shooting last week in San Bernardino, Calif., as well as the attacks in Paris last month, have put added pressure on tech companies to do something about it. What, exactly, is the tricky part.
Take Twitter. It is bedeviled by a pro-Islamic State account called @TurMedia335. It is called @TurMedia335 because Twitter has shut down the account 334 times.
If you thought that’s because this is not a particularly personal interest for Twitter executives, you’d be wrong: An earlier version of the account carried death threats against both the current and former chief executives of the company.
Still, it is not just politicians who believe tech companies can do better. Facing a similar problem, technologists created a system for tracking and eliminating child pornography on the Internet. It would not be a stretch, they say, to do the same for terror-related material.