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Google Asks Tech Companies To Help Curb Terror Content Online

"These are significant developments for the industry, but we know we have much more to do," said Walker

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Despite forging collaborations to stop terror content online, we have much more to do and more tech companies must join to responsibly address terrorist content online, Google has said.

In June 2017, senior representatives from Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube came together to form the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), a coalition to share information on how to best curb the spread of terrorism online.

“We understand that we must responsibly lead the way in developing new technologies and standards for identifying and removing harmful terrorist content,” said Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Global Affairs and Chair of GIFCT, in a blog post late on Thursday.

“Over the past year and a half, the forum also engaged smaller businesses around the world to discuss their unique needs and to share ways to responsibly address terrorist content online.

“With the UN’s counter-terrorism directorate and the UN-initiated ‘TechAgainstTerrorism’ programme, we’ve worked with more than 100 tech companies on four continents,” said Walker.

To enhance the understanding of the latest trends in online terrorist propaganda, GIFCT has been working with a research network led by the Royal United Services Institute.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

“We are speaking with its network of eight think tanks around the world about how terrorist networks operate online, the ethics of content moderation, and the interplay between online content and offline actions,” said Google.

That network will publish 10 academic papers over the next six months to benefit everyone working on the problem of terrorist content online.

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Together with Google.org, the forum launched a $5 million innovation fund to counter hate and extremism. The fund gives grants to nonprofits that are countering hate, both online and offline.

“These are significant developments for the industry, but we know we have much more to do,” said Walker.

“We will continue to expand our membership, vastly increase the size of our database of hashes, and do even more to help small companies and academic websites responsibly address terrorist content,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Tech Giant Google Cracks Whip on Political Debates at Workplace

Before his firing, Damore had filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that charged Google with “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints”

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FILE -Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., May 7, 2019. VOA

Google has cracked down on its employees who encourage political speech and internal debates at workplace, restricting the company’s historically open work culture.

In an email sent to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained the company’s revised community guidelines.

“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not.

“Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics,” the new guidelines read.

The new rules come as Google faces increasing scrutiny from politicians, the public, and its employees on a number of issues, reports Vox.

“Don’t troll, name call, or engage in ad hominem attacks — about anyone. Be respectful in your comments about (and to) your fellow Googlers,” the guidelines read.

“Working at Google comes with tremendous responsibility. It’s critical that we honour that trust and uphold the integrity of our products and services. The guidelines are official policy and apply when employees are communicating in the workplace,” Google said in a statement given to The Verge.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Google has been hit by a couple of walkouts and sit-ins in the past over workplace policies.

In November, nearly 20,000 Google employees across the world walked out following the company’s mishandling of sexual harassment allegations.

Six months after they staged a walkout against workplace harassment, Google employees on May 1 staged sit-in protest at the IT major’s offices across the world. The group “Google Walkout For Real Change” organised the sit-in protest.

The search engine giant in 2017 fired the author of a controversial memo on gender diversity that went viral inside the company.

Also Read: Facebook Downplayed Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal

Authored by James Damore, the memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” claims that when it comes to technology, there is a biological difference between men and women.

Before his firing, Damore had filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that charged Google with “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints”. (IANS)