After the recent spate of terrorist attacks inspired by the so-called Islamic State, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for greater cooperation from social media companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in combating hate propaganda.
For sure, these companies already invest huge resources in preventing their platforms from being used as terrorists' loudspeakers. But with billions of users across the globe posting content daily, it's an uphill and expensive battle.
Susan Etlinger, an analyst at Altimeter Group who covers data intelligence, analytics and strategy suggests a tighter partnership between the social platforms and the government could be the answer.
"The challenge is that the social platforms, they're not experts in homeland security. They do not necessarily know what they're looking for. For them to infer what they're looking for, it could exclude really important signals and include unimportant signals, and that would be overwhelming." she said.
"There is some very sophisticated technology for the government to use to try to understand what credible threats look like," she said.
Of course, any increased cooperation between social media companies and the authorities could drive bad actors further underground and violate user trust — a social network's No. 1 concern.
"We are talking about major issues that the public is wary about in terms of how the government, the NSA and other enforcement agencies is making use of user data," said Forrester analyst Nick Hayes. "From a resources perspective, if they really wanted to focus more on monitoring they could."