Google gets tough on extremist YouTube content

File: A web page of the being displayed on a computer screen in Hong Kong. Photo: Samantha Sin / AFP Files / AFP

NEW YORK - Google would implement more measures to identify and remove terrorist or violent extremist content on its video-sharing platform YouTube, the company said in a blog post on Sunday.

The tech giant was taking a tougher position on videos containing supremacist or inflammatory religious content, by issuing a warning, as well as not monetising or recommending them for user endorsements, even if the clips did not clearly violate its policies.

The company would 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.

"While we and others have worked for years to identify and remove content that violates our policies, the uncomfortable truth is that we, as an industry, must acknowledge that more needs to be done, now," said Google's general counsel Kent Walker. 

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Google would expand its collaboration with counter-extremist groups to identify content that might be used to radicalise and recruit extremists, it said.

The company would also reach potential Islamic State recruits through targeted online advertising and thereby redirect them towards anti-terrorist videos, in a bid to change their minds about joining IS.

Germany, France and Britain, countries where civilians have been killed and wounded in bombings and shootings by Islamist militants in recent years, have pressed Facebook and other providers of social media such as Google and Twitter to do more to remove militant content and hate speech.

"Make no mistake: the fight is moving from the battlefield to the internet," Prime Minister Theresa May told her G7 colleagues at a meeting last month.

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Facebook on Thursday offered additional insight into its efforts to remove terror-related content in response to political pressure in Europe over militant groups using the social network for propaganda and recruiting.

Facebook ramped up the use of artificial intelligence such as image-matching and language-understanding to identify and remove content quickly, the company said in a blog post.


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