Combating terrorist propaganda online

19 February 2015 (20 February 2015 AEST)

Today, in Washington, DC, I announced that the Australian Government is providing nearly $18 million to combat the lies and propaganda terrorist groups are promulgating online to gain support and sympathy from vulnerable young Australians. This work forms part of Australia's approach to countering violent extremism.

The Combating Terrorist Propaganda in Australia initiative will limit the impact of extremist narratives on domestic audiences by reducing the support that terrorist groups garner on the internet and social media.

The new initiative will establish a social media monitoring and analysis capability to better understand extremist narratives and how they affect Australians. The measures will also help reduce access to extremist material online through the recently launched Report Online Extremism tool and by working with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, private sector and international partners to take down or otherwise address extremist content.

The Government is taking a dynamic approach to its communications to better contest the online environment where terrorists are actively distributing their messages. This will include promoting material online that challenges the claims of terrorists and shares the benefits of Australia's diversity, inclusion, democracy and social values.

This is not work that governments can do alone. Communities are already working to help vulnerable individuals reject terrorist propaganda by questioning the assertions, inconsistencies and false allegations, and bringing to light the brutality, of extremist groups. Over a third of this new funding will be provided to communities to help them do more of this important work. We will continue to work together to amplify community voices so their message is heard by those who are most vulnerable.

The fight against terrorist groups like ISIL is taking place online as they continue to weaponise information and spread their messages of hate and violence through social media. The Combating Terrorist Propaganda in Australia initiative is part of the Australian Government's approach to challenging this dangerous propaganda.