Celebrations of far-right terrorist attacks found in online crackdown

Europol highlights more than 800 pieces of content from 34 websites

Europol's co-ordinated action day against online far-right extremism involved 14 countries. Reuters
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More than 800 pieces of far-right terror content has been found on 34 websites in a Europe-wide extremism crackdown.

Europe's crime agency Europol organised a co-ordinated action day, involving 14 countries, to tackle online far-right extremism.

The participating authorities were involved in detecting and flagging terrorist content to online service providers and evaluating their responses.

The activities resulted in the referral of 831 items to 34 affected platforms.

Referred material included content produced by or favouring proscribed right-wing extremist organisations.

It also included content related to terrorist attacks motivated by violent extremism, including livestreams, manifestos, claims and celebrations.

It was the second action day Europol has held to target far-right propaganda.

“Since the first referral action day targeting this type of online content in 2021, the threat posed by violent extremism and terrorism is still on the rise,” Europol said.

“The terror attacks in Buffalo, USA, and Bratislava, Slovakia, illustrated a concerning proliferation of violent right-wing extremist and terrorist activities on a global scale.

“The perpetrators of these attacks were part of transnational online communities and took inspiration from other violent right-wing extremists and terrorists.

“In their manifestos, terrorist actors have highlighted the pivotal role of online propaganda in the radicalisation process. This shows how the abuse of the internet continues to be an important aspect of violent right-wing radicalisation and recruitment.”

During the action day, online service providers were invited them to evaluate and remove the content breaching their terms of service.

It has advised the platforms to reinforce their moderation protocols to avoid extremist abuse in the future.

The day of action involved 14 countries, including Denmark, France, Germany, the UK and Spain.

Updated: December 19, 2022, 12:41 PM