YouTube takes further step against extremist content

AP SOURCE Marcio Jose Sanchez file

AP SOURCE Marcio Jose Sanchez file

Kent Walker, Google's top lawyer, wrote in an op-ed Sunday the company was taking additional steps to tackle violent extremism online.

Google, which has owned YouTube since 2006, was heavily criticised after it was revealed to have placed ads against extremist videos on YouTube earlier this year.

The first is the use of machine learning algorithms to train new "content classifiers" to help moderators decide whether or not a piece of content that is related to terrorism and extremism.

Walker added that Google also plans to add 50 more independent non-governmental organizations to the 63 groups already working with YouTube's Trusted Flagger program, and will support them with grant funding.

Walker said Google will be dedicating more technology resources coupled with an expansion of YouTube's Trusted Flagger program, which relies on human expert reviewers to flag content that violate Google's policies. The company plans to expand the programme by adding 50 expert NGOs. Lastly, YouTube will expand its counter-radicalization efforts.

The company will also try to find potential ISIS recruits based on their online searches and redirect them to videos that are meant to make them change their minds, notes Reuters.

We expect that Google will be rolling out these initiatives on YouTube over the coming months.

Google is also working together with Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter to establish an global forum to share and develop technology and support smaller companies and accelerate our joint efforts to tackle terrorism online. Would you do us a favor?

It will also be more aggressive in putting warnings on and limiting the reach of content that, while not officially forbidden, is still inflammatory. Google will also team up with counter-extremist groups to help further identify radical content. We can do better technology by using Artificial Intelligence to stop the spread of terrorist content on the social network.

The internet giant acknowledged that the threat poses a serious challenge and more immediate action needs to be taken. "We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints".

In addition, the company said it would work with Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter to establish an industry body that would produce technology other smaller companies could use to police problematic content. The system uses targeted ads to direct potential ISIS recruits toward anti-terrorist videos that will hopefully convince them not to join the organization.

Google has escalated its fight against terrorism, pledging to do four things to solve the issue of extremist content that is being propagated online. "We are committed to playing our part", Walker concluded.

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