Online platforms like YouTube, Google and Facebook are eliminating violent propaganda content, like Islamic State videos for example, on direction from the US government. They are deploying unique digital footprints called “hashes” that are assigned to specific videos and can subsequently detect similar content. This content is removed rapidly.
The technology used will ensure content posted and removed cannot be reposted by a new user. It identifies unacceptable content and ensures it’s not promoted. However, it will not automatically block videos that have not been shared and seen before; newly uploaded content is difficult to remove.
A Reuters exclusive explains how top digital companies have been secretly eradicating videos and other content from their websites. Governments across the world have been pressurising popular media platforms to do so in the wake of radicalisation over the internet.
While these big American multinational companies have not responded to such claims, sources have confirmed the usage of such technology to Reuters.
In April, internet companies including Alphabet, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and CloudFlare reportedly discussed methods by which they can block content. They looked at the viability of private organisation Counter Extremism Project’s blocking system. Leaders deliberated issues like terrorism, free speech and the lines between government and corporate authority. There is a difference between content like child pornography, which is illegal in the US, as against a lecture inciting violence, which cannot be easily defined as an attempt to radicalise.