EU countries could hire PR firms to beat back Isis

“Europe is more united than ever” after the terrorist attacks in Paris

European countries could hire public relations experts to counter extremist propaganda on the internet under plans being drawn by the European Union.

The move was disclosed by the EU’s counter-terrorism co-ordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, who called for hitting-hit material to be posted online to combat the messages put out by Islamic State and its sympathisers.

He warned that their material was “very refined” and the EU needed to be “at least as convincing” in countering it.

 

“That means the help of advertisers, PR professionals, experts, police, justice and security forces [advising] on whom we focus, with what message, what tone and through any medium,” he told a Dutch newspaper.

A meeting of EU interior ministers in Latvia, attended by the Home Secretary Theresa May, discussed moves to block jihadist websites.

The EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the bloc wants to “enhance existing co-operation with the internet industry and to strengthen the commitment of social media platforms to reduce illegal content online”.

He added that “Europe is more united than ever” after the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Latvian interior minister Rihards Kozlovskis said more work needed to be done to take down extremist content online, saying the internet "plays a significant role in radicalisation".

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