By James StewartPublished June 13, 2018 09:16:59A few years ago, it was common for the UK’s biggest companies to advertise on social media as part of their efforts to counter terrorism.
It was, after all, the same reason the US and France were able to sell their own versions of the internet.
Now, the trend has gone global.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants are making an effort to get their messages out to more people, and it’s not just for Facebook.
A group of US and French tech companies have launched a joint venture to fight online extremism, with the aim of spreading the message of free speech and democracy.
The initiative, known as #FreeTheInternet, is an attempt to counter the growing popularity of far-right groups like Britain First, which have exploited the internet to recruit people and spread racist propaganda.
The companies have already launched the first stage of the project, which is focused on countering hate speech online.
The group, called “Freedom Through Technology”, is backed by the US government and the French government.
“We are not here to tell the world to hate, hate, or be afraid of other people,” said Richard Aylward, chief executive of the UK-based technology company Maxar, in a video announcing the initiative.
“We are here to encourage people to engage in debate and learn from each other, because we are all on the same side.”
Maxar, which has more than 100 employees in Britain, Germany and France, is working on a platform to make its products and services available to people who would otherwise have to rely on Facebook and Twitter.
The project, he said, will make it easier for people to use the products and get their news through.
“Our vision is to help the UK and other countries like it to be leaders in the fight against online extremism,” Aylwards said.
“I think we are on the right path.”
He added that the technology industry has a responsibility to help keep free speech alive.
“Freedom Through Tech aims to bring about positive change in the world, and we believe that the right actions are taking place,” Alysses Aylroy, the company’s director of strategy and partnerships, said in a statement.
“By supporting organisations like Freedom Through Technology, we can bring more voices into the debate and build more tools to protect free speech, free expression and civil liberties in the digital age.”
Freedom Through Technologies has already received funding from Facebook and Google, which it has used to expand its reach and help the companies develop new products and tools.
Maxar also partnered with the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Centre, which works with the companies on issues related to cyber crime.
“It’s good to see companies like Maxar and Maxar getting involved in this important project,” said John Condon, director of digital at the National Cyber Crime Centre.
“There’s a lot of debate about the impact of extremism online, and there’s a whole lot of people who are in a vulnerable position because of their online activities.”
The UK is a major exporter of defence equipment to the US, but the UK government is also considering banning the purchase of some military equipment, such as surveillance drones.
Aylsward told Mashable that he believes the move will only create more problems for the companies, but that the government’s response will be “positive”.
“I think that’s the way forward,” he said.
“The UK Government is really committed to the idea of free expression, and they are certainly interested in seeing more companies come forward and say, ‘Let’s work together and come up with a solution’.”
The UK has been a major customer for the Maxar brand since it was established in 2006, with sales reaching £7.8 billion last year, according to data from the company.