Programmatic Lunch

Tech companies speak out to defend policies after Theresa May's 'safe space' claims

Tyrone Stewart

Google on tabletFollowing claims from UK Prime Minister Theresa May – in the wake of the terror attacks in London Manchester – that they’re providing a ‘safe space’ for terrorists, tech companies have come out to refute the assertion.


Three of the major players in the space – Facebook, Google and Twitter – were quick to defend the work they’ve been putting in to fight against terrorist content appearing on their platforms.


“We want to make Facebook a hostile environment for terrorists,” said Simon Miller, director of policy at Facebook. “Using a combination of technology and human review, we work aggressively to remove terrorist content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it – and if we become aware of an emergency involving imminent harm to someone’s safety, we notify law enforcement.”


May has long put pressure on tech firms to do more in regard to the content on their platforms. She has made it clear that, if she wins the upcoming general election, she will make firms pay up if they fail to get everything in order.


A Google spokesperson said that the company is “already working with industry colleagues on an international forum to accelerate and strengthen our existing work in this area”.


The spokesperson added: “We employ thousands of people and invest hundreds of millions of pounds to fight abuse on our platforms and ensure we are part of the solution to addressing these challenges.”


Meanwhile, Twitter’s UK head of public policy Nick Pickles said that “terrorist content has no place on Twitter” and that Twitter continues “to expand the use of technology as part of a systematic approach to removing this type of content”.