Top tech CEOs and U.S. officials brainstorm ideas on how to hit ISIS online

top tech ceos in anti terrorism talks with u s officials group gathering meeting summit political speaker presentation podium
White House officials are rolling into California today to meet Silicon Valley bigwigs for talks on how to stop extremist groups using social media to spread propaganda and attract new recruits.

Apple boss Tim Cook will be in attendance alongside executives from other major tech players, including Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, Reuters reported Thursday.

Online outfits such as Twitter and YouTube – used widely by groups such as ISIS to disseminate propaganda and win new followers – will likely be the main focus of the talks, with attendees expected to consider ways of making it more difficult for militants to use the Internet to further their causes.

The discussions will also look at  ways of creating and disseminating online content capable of countering and diluting the efforts of extremists.

Besides Cook and co., the high-level meeting will include input from White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, presidential counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco, FBI Director James Comey, and National Intelligence director James Clapper, among others.

Reuters reports that these particular talks will concentrate primarily on social media rather than the thorny subject of encryption, an issue that tends to divide tech firms and lawmakers.

Following the devastating Paris attacks in November and the more recent San Benardino shootings in California, pressure has been increasing on tech companies to make greater efforts to deal with extremist groups using social media sites to communicate their ideology.

High-ranking French officials recently met with executives from leading U.S. tech firms for discussions similar to those being held today. While few details were released about the precise nature of the meeting, a release from the French government said all attendees had agreed to outline and apply “an offensive strategy of counter-discourse that will specifically target the online activities” of ISIS.

French officials also welcomed Facebook’s Safety Check feature, which offered an easy way for those in the French capital to let worried friends and family know they were safe on the night of the terror attack.

Twitter has for some time acted against anyone posting threats of violence on its site, and bans anyone who uses the service for “unlawful purposes or in furtherance of illegal activities,” according to its terms of use.

When it detects a violation of its policies or receives notification of banned activities taking place on its service, the offending account is blocked.

In March 2015, Twitter’s practice of blocking extremists’ accounts provoked threats from ISIS supporters toward Twitter co-founder and current CEO Jack Dorsey, as well as regular employees of the social media company.

Reuters said the U.S. government is likely to make a statement about the outcome of Friday’s Silicon Valley meeting following its conclusion.

News

What net neutrality? FCC head Ajit Pai would rather regulate Facebook

Ajit Pai isn't known for being a fan of regulation, but in a Senate hearing on May 12, he called Silicon Valley tech companies a threat in response to a question about net neutrality.
Movies & TV

The best movies streaming on Hulu right now (June 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Who needs sunshine? Stay inside and watch the best movies on Netflix instead

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (June 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Mobile

Whether you speak best with emojis, GIFs, or words, you can chat with Kik

The easy-to-use Kik has the look and feel of an SMS text messenger, but with plenty of appealing perks. With only a user name as an ID, Kik lets you exchange messages, photos, videos, sketches, emoji, and more with others on the platform.
Smart Home

Facebook says new Portal video-chat devices are coming in the fall

A Facebook executive has revealed the company is gearing up to refresh its video-calling smart displays later this year. The Portal and Portal+ devices launched to lukewarm reviews toward the end of last year.
Social Media

With its latest tool, Facebook is out for blood (donations, that is)

Facebook users in the U.S. will soon start seeing notifications when area blood centers are in need of donations. The newly expanded Facebook Blood Donation tool mixes alerts with details on where to donate, along with how to invite…
Social Media

Here's how to unblock someone on Facebook when you've had a change of heart

Maybe you were a little too hasty blocking that one person on Facebook ... or maybe you just want to do a little spying to see what they're up to. Either way, you can fix the situation easily. Here's how to unblock someone on Facebook.
Social Media

Need a new Identity? Here's how to change your name on Facebook

There comes a time when everyone must change their online name for one reason or another. Check out our quick guide on how to change your name on Facebook in under five minutes without all the expected fuss or digital hoops to jump through.
Social Media

Will this deepfake of a power-hungry Zuckerberg make Facebook rethink fake news?

Just how committed is Facebook to earlier statements on leaving deepfake videos intact but demoted? A fake video of Mark Zuckerberg proclaiming power over your data has lasted for four days on the platform.
Social Media

Here's how to link your Instagram, Facebook accounts for social syncing

Instagram and Facebook go hand in hand. Here's how you can make the most of the superior integration offered by the two social media behemoths, which should help your pics gain more exposure in the long run.
Social Media

These are the best ways to make your own animated GIF to share

Love sharing GIFs with your friends and peers, but wish you could make your own? Here's how to do so in Photoshop, or using a few other methods that don't require you to shell out a premium fee with each calendar year.
Social Media

Facebook will pay to spy on you, but you can make more money elsewhere

Facebook's new Study app will track how you use your phone and provide that data to the social media giant. The company will even pay you for it — but likely not very much, especially compared to the market rate for your personal…
Social Media

Zuckerberg may have known more about Facebook’s privacy scandal than we thought

In the midst of an ongoing investigation into Facebook's Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, a new report suggests that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have known about the company's much-criticized approach to privacy.