Meta Hasher-Matcher-Actioner helps track terrorist content for free

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The open-source tool, Meta Hasher-Matcher-Actioner (HMA), is a $5 billion project that aims to fight terrorist content on the web. According to Meta, the brain behind this project, this tool will help step up safety in a few ways. This new tool from the company can scan websites for various obscene content for free.

Owners of websites can use this new tool to remove such obscene content from their sites. The types of content this tool hunts down include child exploitation, terrorist propaganda, and so on. Such content is against the regulations of most websites. Yet certain users break the rules and publish such content regardless.

Meta is confident that this new tool will be able to help combat the existence of such content on the web. When put to use by various websites globally, this tool will be able to make the internet a safer place for all. But, how does Meta intend to put this new tool to use across the web?

How Meta intends to use the Hasher-Matcher-Actioner (HMA) tool to combat terrorist content on the web

This new tool from Meta is open-source, meaning that it is available for use on any website for free. Because most websites do not have access to such tools, this move from Meta is thoughtful. Making the Hasher-Matcher-Actioner (HMA) tool free for all websites will help promote online safety at no cost to website owners.

Over 40,000 individuals, among whom are counter-terror specialists, worked to make this tool available for use. How this tool works is quite simple, and Meta says it is also effective. First, users of this tool (website owners) identify obscene content (video or image) and feed this data to the Hasher-Matcher-Actioner (HMA). The tool identifies the particular content it receives from the user and proceeds to scan the web.

For the identification process, the tool creates a “hash” or “a unique digital fingerprint” and attributes it to the said content. Next, the tool saves the “hash” or fingerprint on the user’s (website owner’s) database to test various content that is published on the website. As people upload content to the website, it goes through the database for testing.

If any content coming into the website matches the hash or digital fingerprint, certain actions can be taken. Website owners can now remove the violating content from the site automatically or on a case-by-case basis. With this tool, Meta says that website owners will be able to reduce terrorist content as well as other obscene content on their sites.

By the start of 2023, Meta will assume its chair at the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT)’s Operating board. Assuming, the chair will help Meta allow more companies to make use of this open-source tool. The goal is to tackle and reduce terrorist content present on the web.

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