Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a smartphone app for people to report terrorist content online.
Named iREPORTit, its development has been funded with £40,000 from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and it has been created in partnership with the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU).
This follows research commissioned by the GLA that found four out of five Londoners were unsure how to report extremist material found through internet search engines. There have been fears that lockdown restrictions are leading young people to spend more time online and away from protective role models.
The app will initially be available nationally for a three-month pilot period. It is free to download on Android and Apple devices and allows users to flag any terrorist content online or on social media in three steps.
Anonymous reports will go directly to the CTIRU, which has successfully sought the removal of hundreds of thousands of links to terrorist material and assisted more than 500 counter terrorism investigations nationally in the past two years.
Khan said: “We know terrorism does not recognise borders so this app will be available to all Londoners and everyone across the UK.
“However, we urgently need the government and tech firms to step up and do more now to prevent the rapid spread of terrorist and extremism material online. Insidious voices are growing louder online, and we must all work together to counter hate, intolerance, extremism and terrorism.”
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of counter terrorism policing, said: “Specialist officers are ready and waiting to look at each and every single referral sent via the app.
“Where material breaches UK terrorism legislation, they will seek its removal, even if the website host is based in another country, because every piece that is removed from the Internet is no longer out in the ether, potentially radicalising vulnerable people and encouraging them to cause serious harm to others.”
Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0