A new app called iREPORTit has been launched that lets people report extremist content they find online.
The app was created alongside the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) after receiving £40,000 from the Mayor of London. Developers Raven Science say the app is confidential an anonymous, and that no personal information is collected.
The app has been spearheaded after research found that only one in five people knew what to do if they came across extremist material online. Police and the security services worry that the coronvirus pandemic could lead to more people becoming radicalised online.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “We know terrorists and extremists are set on exploiting the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic for their own gain.
“With more people than ever online for longer periods, often at home alone or in isolated environments, I’m determined to do everything I can to counter that threat.”
Assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Neil Basu said: “Every time a member of public sends the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit a link to material which is terrorist or extremist in nature, they are helping police in the international fight against terrorism.
“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.”
The app is available to download on iOS and Android devices and will run for a three-month pilot.