Tackling terrorist and violent extremist content with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) – BigStage 2020

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11 June 2020 | 13:00-14:30 | Studio The Hague | Video recording | Transcript | Forum
BigStage 2020 overview

Session teaser

The vision of the GIFCT is to prevent terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms. Courtney Gregoire, Chief Digital Safety Officer at Microsoft and the current Board Chair of GIFCT, will share our plans and goals and update you on some recent successes.


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Presenter/Key participants:

  • Courtney Gregoire, Chair of the GIFCT Board of Directors
    Courtney Gregoire is the Chief Digital Safety Officer at Microsoft and the current Board Chair of GIFCT. She will present an overview of GIFCT, including the formation of the Independent Advisory Committee, and share plans for the organization moving forward.

Video record



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>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: And I just turned over to the second one is also a video recorded message from the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. They would just like to introduce themselves, what are they doing and use our Forum to connect with the community. They are speaking about tackling terrorists and violent extremist content online.

>> COURTNEY GREGOIRE: My name is Courtney Gregoire. I serve as Chief Digital Safety Officer at Microsoft. It has been a period of great improvement for the Global Internet Forum on Counter Terrorism, and I look forward to sharing a few updates with you today. As you know, we took the critical step of moving the GIFCT into an independent NGO in December 2019, and in the last couple of months we have been hard at work making sure that the critical mission of that organisation, helping prevent the exploitation of the Internet by terrorist and violent extremisms is moved forward.

One element has been comprising and making sure we have strong leaders in our Independent Advisory Committee. This group comprised of Government leaders as well as civil society organisations will be critical in informing the GIFCT on progress and important new elements we should be addressing through the GIFCT. That slate of candidates has confirmed participation, and we will be pulling them together for the Advisory Committee at the end of this month, June. We have also been in search of a strong Executive Director to make this organisation permanent and leading into the future.

We hope to be sharing some very good news in a couple of weeks on that front. We have a leading individual that we think will really take this organisation to the next level. And as you know, we envision the GIFCT of having multistakeholder Working Groups really taking the hard work forward. Those have been called together, and we are working hard on advancing the mission of algorithmic outcomes and positive interventions as well as transparency and accountability, and the critical work of the consent incident protocol to respond to real world crisis.

Your partnership on making these Working Groups successful is critical. They are the heart of the future GIFCT. I do want to share that last week we were tested as an organisation with a terrible incident in Glendale, Arizona. We came together and acknowledged that the threat online perpetrator produced content from a real world attack meant it was time to take swift action.

GIFCT member companies helped provide content to our shared database of hashes, and that enabled everyone to have access to those hashes to address content according to their terms of service. This swift action meant much less content was able to be reproduced or distributed online. But in the spirit of all things GIFCT, we know we want to continually improve, and this is one of those areas where a debrief last week helped us understand how we can make internal improvements to get better in response to potential next challenge.

I want to take this moment to say thank you for your partnership on making the GIFCT a strong organisation. We want to advance our mission of preventing violent extremists content on the internet and we will need continued investment. Thanks again and we look forward to working together in the future.