For the first time since its launch, Europol’s Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) has organised and joined forces with the IRUs on a 48-hour joint action to secure the removal of the material as quickly as possible. The teams jointly targeted accounts used by terrorist groups to radicalise, recruit, direct terrorist activity and glorify their atrocities. It says 1,677 media content and social media accounts in six languages containing terrorist and violent extremist propaganda for the purpose of referral. The content was hosted by 35 social media and online service providers.
The Europol team, which was composed of specialists, analysts, translators and counter-terrorism experts, was supported by British, French, German and Slovenian colleagues throughout the operation from the agency's headquarters in The Hague.
The decision and removal of the referred terrorist and extremist online content was a voluntary activity by the concerned service providers, taken in reference to their own terms and conditions.
The EU IRU was launched in July 2015 to combat terrorist propaganda and related violent extremist activities on the Internet, for example, terrorist propaganda videos, pictures of beheadings, bomb-making instructions and speeches calling for racial or religious violence.