Google promises YouTube crackdown on online extremism

Google promises YouTube crackdown on online extremism

Google is promising to be more vigilant about preventing terrorist propaganda and other extremist videos from appearing on its YouTube site amid intensifying criticism about the internet's role in mass violence.

YouTube and rival Facebook are racing to improve AI-powered technology that spots things like racism and other hate speech in their online videos, including content used by terrorists for recruiting.

Google is making the commitment in the wake of violent attacks in the USA and elsewhere.

And earlier this month, British Prime Minister Theresa May called on governments to form worldwide agreements to prevent the spread of extremism online.

"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".

With the introduction of these four steps 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.

It will also train more people to identify and remove extremist and terrorism-related content faster.

Google´s Walker said the online giant would start taking "a tougher stance on videos that do not clearly violate our policies", including videos that "contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content".

Governments have pressed Google and social media firms to do more to remove militant content and hate speech following a wave of terrorist activity in Germany, France and the UK.

To step up its policing efforts, Google will almost double the number of independent experts it uses to flag problematic content and expand its work with counter-extremist groups to help identify content that may be used to radicalize and recruit terrorists.

Google also won't sell ads alongside this category of objectionable video to reduce the moneymaking opportunities for their creators.

"Google and YouTube are committed to being part of the solution".

YouTube also won't recommend these videos to its users, and it won't allow YouTube users to endorse them or leave comments - all efforts aimed at limiting their popularity.

In its final step, YouTube is working with Jigsaw to implement the "Redirect Method" across Europe, which redirects potential Islamic State recruits toward anti-terrorist videos in an effort to sway them not to join the terrorist group.