Combatting online terrorist and violent extremist content

Backgrounder

The Christchurch Call to Eliminate Terrorist & Violent Extremist Content Online (Christchurch Call to Action)

On May 15, 2019, following the tragic terrorist mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron brought together Heads of State and government and leaders from the technology sector to adopt the Christchurch Call to Action.

The Christchurch Call to Eliminate Terrorist & Violent Extremist Content Online (Christchurch Call to Action) is a commitment by 120 governments, online service providers, and civil society organizations to coordinate and collaborate on efforts to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online. Signatory governments include: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, United Kingdom and the United States, among others.

Canada’s support towards these commitments is led by Public Safety’s Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence.

The Government of Canada is taking action to address online hate and ideologically motivated violent extremism (IMVE) by working to introduce legislation and regulations to reduce the spread of illegal and harmful content, and promote a safer and more inclusive online environment.

The Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (Canada Centre)

Launched in 2017 and housed in Public Safety Canada, the Canada Centre is the government’s Centre of Excellence domestically and internationally on prevention of violent extremism. Its work is complementary to – but distinct from – national security, law enforcement, and criminal justice approaches. The Canada Centre leads the National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence, working with academia and community-based organizations to better understand and prevent radicalization to violence before tragedies occur. The Canada Centre also funds targeted programming for research and front-line providers through the Community Resilience Fund (CRF).

The Canada Centre's activities include:

  • Policy guidance including the development and implementation of the National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence.
  • Promoting coordination and collaboration with a range of stakeholders to build and share knowledge, and to respond to local level realities and prevent radicalization to violence.
  • Funding, planning and coordinating research to better understand radicalization to violence and how best to counter it, and mobilizing research to front-line individuals working to prevent radicalization to violence.
  • Supporting interventions through the Canada Centre's Community Resilience Fund to provide financial support to initiatives that aim to prevent radicalization to violence in Canada.

Preventing and countering online hate and violent extremism in all its forms is a complex and ever-evolving issue. The Government of Canada actively works with Five Eyes partners, through the Five Country Ministerial process, as well as with its G7 allies, the technology industry, experts, and civil society to more effectively counter IMVE in the online space.

Community Resilience Fund

The Canada Centre manages the CRF, which supports research and community-based projects for the prevention of violent extremism. 

The CRF provides opportunities for local communities, organizations, practitioners, researchers and youth-led initiatives to receive funds for countering radicalization to violence initiatives, as well as for international subject matter experts to help develop evidence-based prevention in Canada. Supporting and enhancing partnerships and innovation in research and programming is key to countering radicalization to violence in Canada.

The CRF has a total of $7 million available annually to fund new and innovative projects and has provided more than $34.1 million in funding to over 48 projects since its creation.

Canada’s support for Tech Against Terrorism and its Terrorist Content Analytics Platform

A key project for the Canada Centre has been providing funding to UK-based Tech Against Terrorism. Initially launched by the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED), Tech Against Terrorism supports smaller tech platforms in tackling terrorist and violent extremist use of the Internet. In 2019, through the CRF, the Government of Canada provided Tech Against Terrorism with a $1-million grant to develop the Terrorist Content Analytics Platform (TCAP). The TCAP is a centralized platform aimed at facilitating tech company moderation of terrorist content and improving quantitative analysis of terrorists’ use of the Internet. The TCAP has since become the world’s largest database of verified terrorist content, shared for free with companies around the world.

Funding for Phase 2 of TCAP (up to $1.9 million over three years) will create a large-scale, protected data archive to enable evidence-driven research, policy and prevention programming, as well as expanded capabilities to identify and assess more types of content, across a wider range of platforms. It will also will focus on developing a technical content moderation tool to assist smaller tech companies in managing their workflows to make swift and proportionate content moderation decisions. 

Contacts

Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Audrey.Champoux@ps-sp.gc.ca

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
psmediarelations@ps-sp.gc.ca

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