by Robert Jonathan, Natural News: Google is not exactly going out on limb with an announcement that it will block terrorist content on YouTube, but its new initiative certainly appears commendable from a national and international security perspective.
In a Google in Europe blog post authored by its general counsel, the search engine behemoth explained that it is adopting four new guidelines for tackling the issue of online extremism that will combine ramped-up technology with the human element.
In addition to boosting its screening software technology to better identify videos that need to be taken down, YouTube will get an assist from its so-called Trusted Flagger cohort of Google-funded independent experts who will help police the platform.
Google is already working with various government agencies to address violent extremism.
Google also says its getting tougher with inflammatory religious or supremacist content by including warning labels, demonetizing the videos, and otherwise minimizing the opportunity for user engagement. That sounds reasonable and appropriate on its face.
Some controversy over YouTube demonetizing certain political videos has already emerged, effectively implementing a form of revenue-loss censorship. With that said, it remains to be seen how broadly or arbitrarily the term “inflammatory” will be interpreted as a practical matter.
Perhaps most significantly, Google says it is partnering with its Jigsaw subsidiary across Europe for what might be called a form of counter-radicalization programming.
This promising approach harnesses the power of targeted online advertising to reach potential ISIS recruits, and redirects them towards anti-terrorist videos that can change their minds about joining. 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.