Trust supports national campaign to battle online extremists | Latest news

Trust supports national campaign to battle online extremists

Members of the public are urged to report material they suspect is extremist or terrorist by clicking on a distinctive red "STOP" button that can be found on police and partner agencies websites. STOP stands for Stop Terrorists' and extremists' Online Presence.

Tackling extremist material is important to protect the public and prevent offences that incite or promote terrorism and extremism.

The internet and social media provide many opportunities for those with extreme views to target young or vulnerable people, and their methods are constantly evolving, from using new phone apps to hijacking popular hashtags in order to reach wide audiences.

Police depend on information from the public in their efforts to help keep us all safe and we are asking anyone who has concerns about online content to report it by clicking the red STOP Terrorists’ and Extremists’ Online button.

STOP

After clicking on the button, web users are quickly directed to a short, anonymous form where they are asked to enter the address of the webpage where they saw the material.

The national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), which investigates the material, was launched in 2010. Since then it has prompted the removal of over 160,000 pieces of extremist and terrorist material, much of which was flagged by members of public.

On average, it instigates the removal of over 1,000 pieces of material a week, including terrorist propaganda videos, pictures of beheadings, bomb-making instructions and speeches calling for racial or religious violence.

The CTIRU proactively trawls the web every day, looking for and seeking the removal of the material which is a source of inspiration for extremists, terrorists and is often a means of radicalising vulnerable people.