Google to Step up Efforts for Shutting Down Extremist Content

Google’s top lawyer said Sunday that the tech giant is undertaking measures to restrict terrorist-related content on the Internet, The Hill reports.

“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”, Google’s General Counsel Kent Walker wrote in an op-ed for the Financial Times.

Walker added that there will be an increase in the use of independent experts in YouTube’s Trusted Flagger program, which allows users to flag inappropriate content.

The company will also take aim at content that doesn’t directly violate its policies but could still contain “inflammatory religious or supremacist content”. Such videos would not be monetized, recommended or open for comments, he added.

“That means these videos will have less engagement and be harder to find. We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints”, Walker said.

The move comes amid mounting pressure in the United Kingdom to suppress and remove online content that could be used to promote extremist ideologies and terrorism.

Following recent terrorist attacks in England, UK lawmakers have blamed the Internet for allowing extremism to spread without consequence.

“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed – yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide,” Prime Minister Theresa May said earlier this month.

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