There is "no silver bullet" to fight extremism online, but tech companies and states must work together to stop terrorists from using the internet to spread their ideologies, a Microsoft representative told the UN Security Council Wednesday.
"There is no single, elegant solution - if there were, the industry would have adopted it," Steven Crown, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel, said. "There is no silver bullet that will stop terrorist use of the Internet."
Crown's address marked the first time council members, many of whom were represented by foreign ministers at the meeting, heard a briefing from a tech company on countering terrorism online.
He said tech companies, states and non-governmental organizations must coordinate to stop extremists from abusing internet services by countering the narratives terrorists present online.
"My key message today is that we need more discussion, we need exploration of new and improved means to address misuse of ... internet communication platforms," he said.
UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, who also addressed the council, called for a special focus on preventing the radicalization of youth by enlisting them in the fight against terrorism.
"In today's world, young people have superior communications skills, extensive social media networks and often more influential voices than their elders," Eliasson said.
"If we are to counter terrorist narratives, we have to motivate and mobilize this generation of youth – the largest in history – to amplify our messages of common humanity."