If you have not been living under a rock, you know the increase in terrorist activities across Europe. News updates also tell us that many of these terrorists picked up their ideas from online content, especially YouTube videos. These videos are carefully created so as not to directly violate the policies of YouTube’s parent company, Google. As a result, these videos remain online and are not taken down because they are not really violating the content policy of Google.
However, in the wake of several terrorist attacks, Google plans to battle these videos in a new manner. Because these videos are not provocative enough to be removed, Google plans to bury them. There are many ways in which these videos will be penalized indirectly so that users don’t come across these videos in the course of normal browsing. For starters, these videos cannot be used as money-spinners by placing ads. Even user comments are deactivated for these videos and they are not recommended for watching to viewers.
A key flank in this battle is the use of experts to flag down extremist content. Machines are usually trusted to do the job. With the use of engineering tools, Google has identified and removed 50% of extremist content from its channels in the last 6 months. Now that matters are getting hotter with each terrorist act, Google is teaming up with NGOs to identify and flag extremist content. When such material is flagged, immediate action is taken against the content through the Trusted Flagger program. These flags are accurate about 90% of the time.
Google is also working on a counter-radicalization process, where extremist content seekers will be directed to material that nudges them back toward a reasonable, humane approach to a problem.