YouTube announces four new steps that it’s taking to combat extremist content


In recent months, social media platforms have been under under pressure to do more when it comes to hosting content that promotes violent extremism and terrorist propaganda. In an op-ed published today in Financial Times, YouTube has outlined four new steps that it’s taking to confront extremist activity on its platform.

In the op-ed, Kent Walker, the senior vice-president and general counsel of Google, writes that YouTube has been working with various governments and law enforcement agencies to identify and remove this content, and has invested in systems that help with that task. Despite those efforts, he acknowledged that more had to be done in the industry, and quickly.

Automated systems, additional flaggers, and more

The first of the four steps is expanding the use of their automated systems to better identify terror-related videos, using machine learning to “train new ‘content classifiers’ to help us more quickly identify and remove such content.”

The company is also expanding its pool of Trusted Flagger users, a group of experts with special privileges to review flagged content that violates the site’s community guidelines. Walker notes that the company is almost doubling the size of the program “by adding 50 expert NGOs to the 63 organisations who are already part of the programme,” which Google will provide with additional grant money. The expanded effort will allow the company to draw on specialty groups to target specific types of videos, such as self-harm and terrorism.