Google’s latest anti-extremist video initiative is officially in effect as of yesterday, with the Mountain View, California-based tech giant introducing a number of new measures designed for combating content associated with terrorism and related themes which seeks to radicalize users or support extreme views in general. The move marks a precedent in Google’s policy for policing YouTube, with the latest set of techniques for suppressing radical content being the most severe method of doing so Google debuted to date, as the firm is now not only adding general warnings to what it deems are questionable videos but is also disabling their advertising, consequently preventing their creators from earning money with such clips.
The Google-owned online video platform still isn’t outright removing many offensive clips, though it’s now warning affected content makers about their portfolio being sanctioned and implying that more drastic measures may be taken in the near future. The warnings were sent to producers of radical content on Thursday, according to an Alphabet representative, with the company likely identifying such users both manually and by employing robust machine learning and general artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. As a direct consequence of the new initiative, extremist content on YouTube will be significantly harder to discover and such videos will have lower engagement rates going forward, a Google official said earlier this year, noting how the firm still isn’t seeking to outright censor content by removing it and has found its new measures to be a balance between allowing access to information and freedom of speech while simultaneously not enabling people to spread “extremely offensive” beliefs.
Apart from pulling advertising from videos identified as being extremist, YouTube is also disabling their ability to host comments and won’t display them in any suggestions served by the platform. Such clips also won’t be embeddable on other websites like normal YouTube videos are, Google’s subsidiary previously confirmed. Content creators affected by the new measures will still be able to appeal them with the firm, though the details about the procedure for doing so remain unclear. YouTube is just one of several tech companies that have recently faced significant pressure from various governments to crack down on extremist content posted by their users, and the likes of Facebook and Twitter are expected to introduce (more) similar measures in the near future.