In its mission to keep us safe from extreme content, the British government has persuaded the UK's largest ISPs to add a "public reporting button" for their customers. BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk have all agreed to the idea in principle, but they're yet to share how it'll actually be implemented. The new button should, in theory, lift some of the burden away from the authorities and encourage more people to flag radicalising material. Every week, the UK's Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit pulls 1,000 items from the web that breach the 2006 Terrorism Act; enlisting the public will increase the number of eyeballs they have scouring the web and should shorten the time it takes to remove infringing content.
As part of the agreement, ISPs will also update their filters so that terrorist and extremist material is hidden from young children. Both initiatives, of course, provide yet another way for the government to regulate what people see on the web. David Cameron's adult filters showed that the public doesn't take too kindly to censorship, but this time users can help decide what's safe and what needs to be purged. Of course, until we get some transparency from those involved, it's hard to say if either feature will have any effect whatsoever.[Image Credit: DFID, Flickr]