Google May Use Copyright Scanners to Check Extremist Speech

/ 7 years ago

Copyright scanners could help flag extremist materials

In the wake of recent events, people are shouting for companies to be more responsible and active in finding and tracking down extremist speech on their sites. People post things online, some of which are less than pleasant for others and according to Reuters, companies like Facebook and Google may be using the same scanners typically used for checking documents about copyright to search out extremist speech.

Typically companies rely on their users to state when the material is inappropriate, with everything from photos or your latest social post possibly containing hateful content. With such a wide variety of content to police, sites have found it difficult to track down and recognise content or even profiles which have shared these kinds of content. Two sources “familiar with the process” pointed out that sites like Facebook or Google utilized automatic scanning software that would typically be used to check for copyright infringement, instead looking for keywords or images that could be related to extremist speech.

The problem here is the automated checks have to be accurate, not just reporting on a single word of phrase but instead focusing on the entire messages context. With thousands of pictures, comments and profiles reported every day just on Facebook alone, it makes sense that they would look to automate the process and save themselves some time while helping keep up with increasing levels of government requests to track and identify users with extremist comments linked to them.

With the government requesting more in-depth checks for social media and their online activities, using automatic scanners also raises questions about the level of privacy any content, private or public, experiences.

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