Google has announced that it will be introducing new measures to help combat the spread of extremist material online, with a particular focus on extremist videos on Youtube. According to a statement, both Google and Youtube pledged better detection of extremist content and faster review, more experts, tougher standards and an expansion of counter-radicalisation work.
Kent Walker, a senior vice-president and general counsel at Google, said in a blogpost earlier today:
“Terrorism is an attack on open societies, and addressing the threat posed by violence and hate is a critical challenge for us all. Google and YouTube are committed to being part of the solution. We are working with government, law enforcement and civil society groups to tackle the problem of violent extremism online. There should be no place for terrorist content on our services.”
According to Mr. Walker, the company will increase the number of people in its Trusted Flagger programme, and will expand its work with counter-extremism groups to help identify content that may be being used to radicalise potential recruits. Mr. Walker also acknowledged that more must be done in by companies such as Google in order to ensure that the spread of extremist content is minimalised, and that it needs to be done in the near future. Should this be done, he says, then these changes should make a positive impact, with Mr. Walker saying:
“Collectively, these changes will make a difference. And we’ll keep working on the problem until we get the balance right. We are committed to playing our part.”
According to a report by the Guardian, these changes are being warmly welcomed by politicians in England, with Labour’s Yvette Cooper saying:
“This is a very welcome step forward from Google after the [committee] called on them to take more responsibility for searching for illegal content…News that Google will now proactively scan content and fund the trusted flaggers who were helping to moderate their own site is therefore important and welcome, though there is still more to do.”