The government makes a big deal about tackling extremist content online, and with good reason. Accusations have levelled at internet companies for failing to deal with extremist content on their platforms, despite the companies themselves insisting they're very good at taking it down. Normally people would use stats to check, but London's Metropolitan Police have refused to release anything of note.
Following a freedom of information request from the Open Rights Group, the Met only reiterated the previous statement that "Since 2010, 270,000 pieces of illegal terrorist material have been removed by social media providers, following referrals from the Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit." Unfortunately they refused to disclose any more in depth stats because "disclosure of the requested information would be likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime".
Naturally the Open Rights Group weren't best pleased, with Executive Director Jim Killock saying:
“This is ridiculous. There will be plenty of statistics, where we know that the CTIRU work with certain platforms or must review their own work. This would include error rates, decline rates, numbers of takedown by platform. Other statistics would include media performance. They may try to calculate crime prevention or the number of views of content they have prevented.To claim that making any of these available would constitute a threat to national security or detection of crime is preposterous. Worse, we are about to debate the Digital Charter where Parliament and the public will be expected to accept harsher penalties for platforms who don’t immediately remove material like this. If we are going to have a sensible debate about more censorship powers, then we need to know how current police operations are working.”