NEW YORK (Web Desk) – A major move to remove all extremist content from major social networking websites is underway.

The web’s biggest destinations for watching videos have quietly started using automation to block extremist content.

According to an international news agency, this is a major step forward for internet companies that are keen to eliminate violent propaganda from their websites.

The companies are under pressure to do so from governments worldwide.

YouTube and Facebook are among the sites currently working on systems to block or quickly take down Islamic State (IS) videos and other material.

The technology was originally developed to identify and remove copyright-protected content on video sites.

It looks for “hashes,” a type of unique digital fingerprint that internet companies automatically assign to specific videos, allowing all content with matching fingerprints to be removed rapidly.

Such a system would catch attempts to re-post content already identified as unacceptable, but would not automatically block videos that have not been seen before.

The companies would not confirm that they are using the method or talk about how it might be employed, but numerous people familiar with the technology said that posted videos could be checked against a database of banned content to identify new postings of, say, a beheading or a lecture inciting violence.

Use of the new technology is likely to be refined over time as internet companies continue to discuss the issue between themselves and with competitors and other interested parties.