In recent years, acts of terrorism have increased throughout the world. Research shows that terror attacks have increased by an alarming 71%. Every morning, after waking up with our much needed coffee, we are confronted by various news outlets of new forms of violence and ways that the government entities are working to prevent future attacks. Many of these attacks are now beginning on the internet, utilizing social media platforms to recruit more ISIS members and transfer terrorism messages. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft are all working hard to prevent social media terrorism.
In an age where everything is online (literally everything), our newsfeeds are filled with information regarding these increasing internet terror attacks around the world. We continuously see videos and articles about well-known politicians and their ideas on how to end terrorism, but where are the results? The numbers keep increasing on social media terrorism and nothing seems to help.
In comes the Justice League. No, not the infamous group of superheroes we all have grown up with and come to love (despite the numerous movie remakes). The Justice League of Social Media have come to save the day -well, hopefully. Four media giants have banded together to stop the spread of social media terrorism. These superheroes are none other than Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft. Their plan of attack is to create a shared database that will utilize digital “hashes” to find and flag any terrorism posts or videos and then remove the content.
Why is this band of media heroes just now forming when terrorism has been around for years? It all has to do with the rising influence of social media. While these acts of terrorism have increased over the years, so have powerful media and tech companies such as Facebook and Google. These sites have incorporated themselves in every aspect of our lives. In fact, one could argue that this past presidential election was essentially ran by the power of the media. Just as Uncle Ben told a young Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility”.
These media giants have a social responsibility to not only protect those who use them regularly, but rather the entire world from terrorist groups. (Not to mention, this will provide the positive publicity that these companies could use). The power of the internet has the potential to help end the war on terrorism. Will this completely eradicate terrorism? Maybe not. But it is important to remember the influence and power that social media has. Yes, Facebook is great to keep in touch with friends and family (and occasionally watch a cute cat video), but more importantly, it has the ability to help save the world. Perhaps we will see other large key players such as Apple and Instagram join this Justice League if this plan works. We all need a hero, and maybe social media is just that.