After London attack, Facebook says aims to be 'hostile environment' for terrorists

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) - Facebook said it wanted to make its social media platform a "hostile environment" for terrorists in a statement issued after attackers killed seven people in London and prompted Prime Minister Theresa May to demand action from internet firms.

Three attackers rammed a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed others nearby on Saturday night in Britain's third major militant attack in recent months.

May responded to the attack by calling for an overhaul of the strategy used to combat extremism, including a demand for greater international regulation of the internet, saying big internet companies were partly responsible for providing extreme ideology the space to develop.

19 PHOTOS
Tributes to the victims of the London Bridge attack
See Gallery
Tributes to the victims of the London Bridge attack
A bunch of flowers with a message of sympathy is seen near Borough Market after an attack left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
A bunch of flowers is left near London Bridge after an attack left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Participants of the Riviera Water Bike Challenge in support of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, observe a minute of silence in tribute to the victims of the London attack in Nice, France June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: A woman holds a sign reading 'ISIS Will Lose. Love Will Win', following last night's London terror attack, on June 4, 2017 in London, England. Prime Minister Theresa May has left the election campaign trail to hold a meeting of the emergency response committee, Cobra, this morning following a terror attack in central London on Saturday night. 7 people were killed and at least 48 injured in terror attacks on London Bridge and Borough Market. Three attackers were shot dead by armed police. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
The Brandenburg Gate is illuminated with the colours of the British flag to show solidarity with the victims of the recent attack in London, in Berlin, Germany June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Mang TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: Posters reading 'ISIS Will Lose. Love Will Win', are seen on a map of the area, following last night's London terror attack, on June 4, 2017 in London, England. Prime Minister Theresa May has left the election campaign trail to hold a meeting of the emergency response committee, Cobra, this morning following a terror attack in central London on Saturday night. 7 people were killed and at least 48 injured in terror attacks on London Bridge and Borough Market. Three attackers were shot dead by armed police. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
The aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack is seen in London on June 4, 2017. Police forensics officers work on London Bridge. Seven people have been killed in central London after three men drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge, before launching a knife attack on people around Borough Market. Flowers have also been put near the bridge to commemorate the victims. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: A police officer looks at a floral tribute left by a man near the scene of last night's terrorist attack on June 4, 2017 in London, England. Police continue to cordon off an area after responding to terrorist attacks on London Bridge and Borough Market where 7 people were killed and at least 48 injured last night. Three attackers were shot dead by armed police. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: A woman speaks to a female police officer as she carries flowers to London Bridge, the scene of last night's terror attack on June 4, 2017 in London, England. Police continue to cordon off an area after responding to terrorist attacks on London Bridge and Borough Market where 7 people were killed and at least 48 injured last night. Three attackers were shot dead by armed police. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A minutes silence is observed for the victims of the London terror attack, before the ICC Champions Trophy, Group B match at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: The Manchester United '08 XI take part in a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the terror attacks in Manchester and London ahead of the Michael Carrick Testimonial match between Manchester United and Michael Carrick All-Stars at Old Trafford on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)
Women leave flowers near Borough Market after an attack left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Flowers and messages lie behind police cordon tape near Borough Market after an attack left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Floral tributes are laid near Borough Market in London following Saturday's terrorist attack.
A poster near Borough Market in London following Saturday's terrorist attack.
A woman lays a bouquet of flowers at a pedestrian crossing by Borough market in London on June 5, 2017. British police on Monday made several arrests in two dawn raids following the June 3 London attacks, claimed by the Islamic State group which left seven people dead. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 05: A commuter looks at some of the floral tributes on London Bridge after it was reopened following the June 3rd terror attack on June 5, 2017 in London, England. Seven people were killed and at least 48 injured in terror attacks on London Bridge and Borough Market. Three attackers were shot dead by armed police. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A message reading 'Peace for London' sits on flowers left at the scene, following Saturday night's terror attack, in London, U.K., on Monday, June 5, 2017. Police are stepping up drills and security on the streets as the challenge facing them continues to shift.� Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Facebook on Sunday said it condemned the London attacks.

"We want Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists," said Simon Milner, Director of Policy at Facebook in an emailed statement.

"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 previously put pressure on internet firms to take more responsibility for content posted on their services. Last month she pledged, if she wins an upcoming election, to create the power to make firms pay towards the cost of policing the internet with an industry-wide levy.

Twitter also said it was working to tackle the spread of militant propaganda on its website.

"Terrorist content has no place on Twitter," Nick Pickles, UK head of public policy at Twitter, said in a statement, adding that in the second half of 2016 it had suspended nearly 400,000 accounts.

"We continue to expand the use of technology as part of a systematic approach to removing this type of content." (Reporting by William James in London and Dion Rabouin; Editing by Alistair Smout and Ralph Boulton)

Read Full Story

Can't get enough business news?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from retailer news to the latest IPOs delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.