YouTube Outlines Four Steps To Combat Extremist Content

Involves AI, flagging and misdirects


Social networks have been under pressure recently in the pursuit to identify updates made by terrorists or extremists. Google is now taking this hard stance to one of their most popular social networks, YouTube and their latest policies was presented in an editorial on Financial Times by their SVP and General Counsel, Kent Walker.

“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,” Mr Walker says in the post.

With this realization, YouTube will pledge to take four steps to tackle this problem:

First, they will increase their use of technology to identify extremist or terrorism related videos. They have used video analysis models to asses 50% of the terrorism related content they’ve been able to remove over the past six months and now they’ll go a step further. YouTube will now devote more resources to apply machine learning to train new “content classifiers” to identify such content quickly.

Second, YouTube knows that machines won’t do all of the work and some human input is needed. They will increase the number of independent experts in their Trusted Flagger program so that they would identify lines between “violent propaganda an religious or newsworthy speech.” This involves adding 50 expert NGOs to the 63 organizations which are already part of the Trusted Flagger program.

Third, YouTube will take a tougher stance on videos that don’t clearly violate their policies. An example would be a video that contains “inflammatory religious or supremacist content.” These kind of videos will appear behind a warning, will not be monetized, recommended or eligible for comments or endorsements. Such a stand will make them have less engagement.

Lastly, YouTube will expand their counter-radicalization efforts. They will work with Jigsaw to implement the “redirect method” which uses the power of targeted online advertising to reach potential ISIS recruits which will redirect them towards anti-terrorist videos so that they can change their minds about joining.


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