Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Google unveils new measures to remove extremist video content on YouTube

Google unveils new measures to remove extremist video content on YouTube

For example, a terrorist organization may post a clip that is then used in part by a legitimate news service such as the BBC, the latter an acceptable presentation of the content.

Google has announced four additional steps it will take in the fight against online terror, specifically on YouTube, as it looks to reassure users and advertisers it is taking a tough stance on brand safety and content control.

In the op-ed, Kent Walker, the senior vice-president and general counsel of Google, writes that YouTube has been working with various governments and law enforcement agencies to identify and remove this content, and has invested in systems that help with that task. Walker, however, admits that more still has to be done, and quickly too.

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Walker said Google is also increasing its counter-propaganda efforts, employing technology that "harnesses the power of targets online advertising to reach potential Isis recruits and redirects them towards anti-terrorist videos that can change their minds about joining".

The company will also employ more engineering resources and increase its use of technology to help identify extremist videos, in addition to training new content classifiers to quickly identify and remove such content. Such videos, Walker writes, would not be monetized, recommended or open for comments. "That means these videos will have less engagement and be harder to find".

The fourth one, which of course, is the last one, will see YouTube expanding its "counter-radicalization efforts". In previous deployments of this system, potential recruits have clicked through on the ads at an unusually high rate, and watched over half a million minutes of video content that debunks terrorist recruiting messages.

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Walker said: "Collectively, these changes will make a difference. Terrorism affects us all and we need a common approach to ensure the problem gets solved, and at a much faster pace than we are seeing right now". The goal is to establish an global forum to share and develop technology, support smaller companies, and accelerate the joint effort to tackle terrorism online.

Throughout the post, attention is paid to the company's desire to achieve a balance between open and free societies and the prevention of terrorist actions that aim to erode these same values. "We will expand this programme by adding 50 expert NGOs to the 63 organisations who are already part of the programme, and we will support them with operational grants". "It is a sweeping and complex challenge".

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