Almost a decade ago, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warned the international community of the growing risks posed by the terrorist use of the internet and criticized the lack of universal instruments addressing this facet of terrorist activity. Terrorist exploitation of the online environment remains an increasingly troubling global issue as digital platforms have been utilized by terrorist organizations to recruit their followers, communicate with their supporters and promote their activities. For example, social media has been used to spread violence, showcase so-called ‘performance crimes’ and influence the public’s understanding of terrorist attacks and their aftermath.

Growing public and governmental pressures has pushed major social platforms to take concrete action leading to a new joint initiative - the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) - which maintains a shared database of terrorist and violent extremist content. While these steps have prevented a number of terror images and videos from being shared, more needs to be done to prevent new content from being widely distributed.

Against this backdrop, a panel of experts will review some of the main threats posed by online terrorism and violent extremism. What technical and diplomatic approaches can be deployed to prevent, respond to, and learn from, the abuse of digital platforms by terrorists and violent extremists? What is the responsibility of tech companies in responding to terrorist and violent extremist misuse of their platforms? And how can multi-stakeholder engagement around such misuse of the internet be strengthened?

This webinar is co-hosted by Chatham House, Microsoft and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).

This event is for Chatham House members. Not a member? Find out more.



Ms Michele Coninsx, Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director, Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, United Nations


Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights While Countering Terrorism, United Nations

Nicholas Rasmussen, Executive Director, Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) 

Dr Erin Marie Saltman, Head of Counterterrorism and Dangerous Organisation Policy for EMEA, Facebook

Dr Samir Saran, President, Observer Research Foundation 

Closing Remarks: 

Courtney Gregoire, Chief Digital Safety Officer, Microsoft Corporation


Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director and Chief Executive, Chatham House