New App Launched to Help London Residents Report Terrorist Content
London is beefing up its counter-terrorism efforts and part of their strategy has been to set up an app called iREPORTit that will help residents report online content that perpetuates extremism and radicalisation.
The app comes after recent research commissioned by City Hall showed that 4 out of 5 people were not sure how to report extremist material.
The research also identified that almost three-quarters of Londoners believe that social media sites should be doing more to fight extremism and radicalisation on their platforms but 42% of them are not aware of how to get the content removed.
Additionally, 81% of all Londoners would not know or are not sure how to get extremist content removed from popular search engines like Google.
iREPORTit which is available both on Google Play and Apple Store will help its users report terrorist content in 3 easy steps.
The app was funded through a £40,000 investment from City Hall and will work in partnership with the National Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit that has helped in the removal of thousands of terrorism links online and aided in the investigation of over 500 terrorist incidents nationally in the last two years.
The app is on a 3-month pilot period in which it will be constantly reviewed by the counter-terrorism unit. Its success will depend on the number of downloads, the number of referrals through the app and the quality of referrals.
As noted by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, iREPORTit comes at an especially good time since Covid-19 has led to increased online time for many people leaving them more prone to radicalisation.
“We know terrorists and extremists are set on exploiting the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic for their own gain.”
Sadiq Khan said. "With more people than ever online for longer periods, often at home alone or in isolated environments, I'm determined to do everything I can to counter that threat."
To prove that terrorism is a real threat in the UK, City Hall referenced the 2020 attacks in Reading and Streatham and multiple other incidents that were contained by the police and other security agencies before they could harm the public.