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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Reporting extremism and terrorism online

The internet is used by some people to promote terrorism and extremism. You can challenge and report extremist or terrorist content you find online which you feel is offensive, or illegal. Find out what makes online content illegal and how to report it.

What makes offensive content illegal

Seen something online that's worried you?

Not all offensive content is illegal.

The Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 made it illegal to:

  • have or share information that could be useful to terrorists
  • share information that urges people to commit or help with acts of terrorism
  • glorify or praise terrorism

Examples of what makes terrorist or extremist content illegal are:

  • speeches or essays calling for racial or religious violence
  • videos of violence with messages of praise for the attackers
  • chat forums with postings calling for people to commit acts of terrorism
  • messages intended to stir up hatred against any religious or ethnic group
  • instructions on how to make weapons, poisons or bombs

If you are unsure whether content is illegal or not, please report it to the police using the link below.

Reporting illegal content to the police

If you want to report an emergency call 999

If you come across terrorist or extremist content online that you think might be illegal, let the police know using the link below.

All reports are anonymous, and should only take a few minutes to complete. All you need is the web address (also called the ‘URL’) of the website.

You should report any content you feel may be illegal to the website administrator, service provider or hosting company, following the steps below. That way you increase the chances of removing the offending content.

You can’t use the link below to report an emergency or a crime. In an emergency, you should always call 999 .

Reporting content to the service provider or hosting company

UK laws are written to make sure that people can speak, and write, freely without being sent to prison for their views. Therefore a lot of hateful or violent website content is not actually illegal.

However, most websites have 'acceptable use policies' that set out what can and cannot be put on their website. Most do not allow comments, videos or photos that offend or hurt people and will remove content if it breaches their policies.

Many websites have simple ways for you to complain about a page or video. Look out for their ‘contact us’ page, which should be clearly linked. Others will have a ‘report this page’ button that you can click. Some social networking websites also have ‘promoting terrorism’ referral flags.

Hosting companies provide a place where the website sits, and often have rules about what they are willing to host. You can let the hosting company know they are hosting a website which is causing you offence.

You can find out which company hosts a website by entering their web address on the ‘Who is hosting this?’ website.

You can also contact your own internet service provider to get more information.

Reporting illegal hate content

Hate crimes are any crimes motivated by hatred of a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. It can be committed against a person or property.

You can report a hate crime, or hate content you find online, using the link below.

Other sources of information

To anonymously give information on any other type of crime call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Additional links

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