For immediate release | Monday, December 4, 2017

ICYMI: The Case for Removing Extremist Videos From the Internet

New York Times: The Case for Removing Extremist Videos From the Internet
In an op-ed published on December 1 in the New York Times, CEP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace and President Frances Townsend argue that while YouTube’s removal of lectures and sermons from al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki was a welcome decision, it must lead to a broader and more consistent approach to removing the lectures of other radical clerics and the pernicious online content posted by the Islamic State. “The group’s sophisticated exploitation of the internet to spread its message must be matched by a systematic and resource-intensive effort that includes website hosting companies such as WordPress, encrypted communications platforms such as Telegram and file-sharing platforms such as JustPaste.it, apart from video platforms such as YouTube.” Read the op-ed

New York Times: In ‘Watershed Moment,’ YouTube Blocks Extremist Cleric’s Message
The New York Times reported that YouTube has drastically reduced the number of Awlaki’s recorded lectures. The decision followed a multi-year CEP campaign that included outreach to the leadership of Google/YouTube, op-eds in USA Today and Fox News, and a series of original reports detailing Awlaki’s radicalizing influence on U.S. and European terrorists and his ubiquitous presence online. “It’s a watershed moment on the question of whether we’re going to allow the unchecked proliferation of cyberjihad,” said CEP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. “You just don’t want to make it easy for people to listen to a guy who wants to harm us.” Read the article.

Additional coverage: Times of Israel and International Business Times

CBS Radio: Anwar al-Awlaki was the “premier jihadi online propagandist in the world”
In an interview with CBS Radio, Ambassador Wallace discusses the central role Awlaki played in the radicalization of U.S. and European terrorists and the continuing challenge of extremist propaganda on the Internet and social media platforms. Listen to the interview.

Voice of America: IS May Sustain Virtual Caliphate After Battlefield Losses, Experts Say
Senator Ron Johnson delivered the keynote address and a distinguished panel of experts discussed the multiple challenges to public safety posed by extremists and terrorists operating online at CEP's November 13 public policy event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  Read the article. Watch the C-SPAN coverage