The issue of filtering out content that advocates or glorifies terrorism on widely-used media sites like Alphabet’s YouTube has come under renewed scrutiny since authorities learned that 23-year-old Salman Abedi was radicalized after watching videos of an American preacher posted on the site. So unsurprisingly, barely two weeks after UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused tech companies of providing a “safe space” for extremist content, Google’s General Counsel Kent Walker has revealed four new measures the company is taking to censor its users.
These videos will now come with a warning, be banned from featuring adds or collecting advertising revenue, or be recommended, endorsed, or commented on. Users will still be able to find the content once the policy goes into effect, but it will eliminate one of the most prominent means of transmission – sharing over social media networks like Twitter and the messaging app Telegram.
“…we will be taking a tougher stance on videos that do not clearly violate our policies — for example, videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content. In future these will appear behind an interstitial warning and they will not be monetised, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements. That means these videos will have less engagement and be harder to find. We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.”