Google and Facebook are two of the web’s biggest hosts of video content. Now, after pressure from international governments, they are moving to make the internet a safer place by quietly blocking extremist content from their sites.
Using automation, Google and Facebook will be able to remove violent propaganda from being viewed. The technology being utilized was initially developed to remove copyright-protected content from video sites, and uses “hashes” – a unique digital fingerprint that assigns a company or group to specific video. If a hash is marked as extremist, all videos with that fingerprint would be removed instantly. This would prevent users from reposting unacceptable content, but not block content that hasn’t been seen before.
It has been confirmed that in April, after pressure from North American and European leaders, internet companies including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and CloudFlare held a call to discuss how to proceed with blocking radicalized content. One issue they have faced is balancing free speech laws against safety, especially when not all extremist content – such as lecture videos – are clearly illegal.
*Source: Reuters Canada