The EU Internet Forum (EUIF) launched by the Commission in December 2015, addresses the misuse of the internet for terrorist purposes through two main strands of action:
- reducing accessibility to terrorist content online
- increasing the volume of effective alternative narratives online
Enhancing the fight against child sexual abuse online, was added to EUIF's area of activities in 2019. In 2022, the EUIF further expanded its scope to cover drug trafficking online and trafficking in human beings online. Work at technical level is ongoing.
The objective of the EU Internet Forum is to provide a collaborative environment for governments in the EU, the internet industry, and other partners to discuss and address the challenges posed by the presence of malicious and illegal content online.
The Forum aims at exploring possible responses against abuse and exploitation of online platforms by terrorists and violent extremists, as well as other malicious actors, including those that groom children for the purpose of sexual abuse and the production and dissemination of child sexual abuse material online.
Actions and areas of work
The EUIF is instrumental in pushing forward a number of initiatives addressing the European Union and industry response to terrorist attacks with an online dimension:
- The EUIF was involved in the creation of Europol’s EU Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) which flags and refers terrorist content online to online platforms.
- Following the live-streaming of the Christchurch attack in March 2019, the EUIF agreed on the EU Crisis Protocol to respond to the viral spread of terrorist and violent extremist content online.
- The EUIF decided to take steps to tackle the emerging challenges posed by Violent Right-Wing Extremism’s (VRWE) presence online, and to develop a list of VRWE groups, symbols, and manifestoes aimed at facilitating online content moderation for industry stakeholders.
- In 2015, the EUIF launched the Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP) to support civil society organisations to fight against terrorist and extremist propaganda online, as well as to provide effective narratives to counter such propaganda.
- The EUIF is exploring technical solutions to support companies in detecting child sexual abuse in end-to-end encrypted electronic communications, following the commitment to enhance industry efforts to ensure the protection of children in their products undertaken in the 2020 EU Strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse.
- Through data and evidence, the EUIF is supporting the preparation of legislation on preventing and combating child sexual abuse and the revision of the EU child sexual abuse Directive.
- The EUIF collaborates with other global forums and initiatives dedicated to addressing violent extremism and child sexual abuse online.
- The EU Internet Forum commissioned a study into the role and effects of the use of algorithmic amplification to spread terrorist, violent extremist and borderline content. Read the full study.
The European Commission chairs the Forum.
The following institutions, organisations, and networks are active participants:
- EU countries and countries of the European Free Trade Agreement
- European institutions and Agencies, notably Europol, Eurojust, the Fundamental Rights Agency, the European External Action Service, and the Council’s Counter Terrorism Coordinator
- internet industry, including Automattic, Discord, Dropbox, Meta, Google, Internet Archive, Just Paste.it, Mega, Microsoft, Snap, Telegram, Twitter, Twitch, Yubo, TikTok, Roblox, Zoom and other companies fulfilling the membership criteria for industry
- The Radicalisation Awareness Network
The EUIF Ministerial takes place once a year, while there are other meetings throughout the year to support the Forum’s activities, such as the Senior Officials Meetings and workshops.
June: Senior Officials Meeting (agenda)
September: Algorithmic Amplification and Borderline Content Workshop (agenda)
October: Violent Extremist and Terrorist Financing Activities Online (agenda)
December: EUIF Ministerial (agenda), Opening by the Commissioner ()
March: Right-Wing Extremism Technical Meeting (agenda)
June: Senior Officials Meeting (agenda)