Terrorism is a major concern for countries around the globe and authorities have presented a number of strategies to fight it. Google has now joined in and announced that they will be doing their part to prevent the proliferation of online terrorist videos.
Often the first point of contact, these videos are used to both spread propaganda and recruit new members to various terrorist groups. Unfortunately, they have been increasingly successful at both and have also helped to radicalize individuals unable to travel to countries where these groups flourish and openly train members. ISIS, in particular, has demonstrated a knowledge of how effective this form of recruitment can be, and have made it an increasingly large part of their propaganda plan.
One of the main aspects in Google’s plan is to use redirects. When someone clicks on an ad promoting terrorist groups or linking to a pro-terrorism video, the link will instead take them to an anti-terrorism video. The same thing will happen when people use search terms regularly associated with groups like ISIS.
The company also announced that it would be putting warnings on videos that included inflammatory content, but were not so over the line that they qualified for removal. While they can remain on the site, said videos cannot be recommended, commented upon, or monetized.
Google will also increase the number of employees involved in content examination. While programs can flag videos, human input is required to know whether what is depicted actually violates the terms of service and is not, say, a news broadcast about terrorism that contains excerpts of terrorist propaganda.
It will be difficult to measure in the coming months how effective this strategy will be. However, experts welcome Google’s announcement, stating that it is a step in the right direction and that other companies should consider following suit.