UK Govt. join call for Google to ditch extremist content
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UK Govt. join call for Google to ditch extremist content

A slew of advertisers have boycotted Google to protest their adverts occasionally appearing next to extremist content. Now, British Prime Minister Theresa May has chosen to enter the fray, and make her government’s position completely clear. She told reporters:

“We think that there is more that they could and should be doing, and we will be continuing to encourage them to do more. I think it’s very important that we do see action from the companies. We will continue to press them to make sure, because as we know, material on the internet can have an impact when it is seen by other people.’’

The British Parliament’s concerns are not so much directed at ad space, but at Google’s policing more generally. Material that can be found includes Islamic State videos, Al Qaeda propaganda, instructions on how to make car bombs, hate sermons, and more.

Al-Qaeda magazine, easily obtainable via Google search

extr mag

SOURCE: redacted on moral grounds

This material not only makes terrorism and religious extremism starkly more visible, but acts as a recruiting tool for the radicalization of westerners. After the attack in Westminster – right outside, for many of the UK’s lawmakers – Parliament is asking whether Google could do more to fight it. That officially began last week, when the UK’s home secretary Amber Rudd met representatives from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter to discuss how they could deal with terrorist content on their platforms “head on”.

The Prime Minister said:

“The government has already spent quite a lot of time talking with the companies about what they can do and what we think they should be doing,” adding that “they have made some progress” by removing “something like a quarter of a million pieces,” of the offending material off the web since 2010.

Both Google and Facebook have publicly committed themselves to finding a solution for the problem.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Google and Facebook in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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