Machine Learning

YouTube fights terrorism via machine learning technology

(c)iStock.com/Anatolii Babii

YouTube has announced it is taking greater steps to restrict the number of videos from terrorist-affiliated groups on its platform through ‘better detection and faster removal driven by machine learning’.

To tackle the situation, the Alphabet-owned video portal is using machine learning to step up its efforts to detect and remove terrorist content while also implementing “tougher standards” for determining when other videos are too controversial, or even if they are not violating YouTube’s specific community guidelines.

In July 2017, YouTube said that the service had already started redirecting searches for violent and extremist content, and sending such users to anti-terrorism videos instead.

Alongside YouTube, social media giants Facebook and Twitter have also rolled out their own initiatives to cut down extremism on their respective services. These moves come after British Prime Minister Theresa May described online communities and social media platforms as “safe spaces” for terrorists and other extremist groups while calling on tech companies to do more to combat extremism online.

In its recent blog post updating users, YouTube said that its machine learning systems are faster and more effective than ever before and more than 75% of the videos have been removed for violent extremism over the past month were taken down before receiving a single human flag. It said that it is a challenge to find and remove all instances of violent extremist content as more than 400 hours of content is uploaded every minute.

“We have taken significant steps over the last month in our fight against online terrorism. But this is not the end,” the company wrote. “We know there is always more work to be done. With the help of new machine learning technology, deep partnerships, ongoing collaborations with other companies through the Global Internet Forum, and our vigilant community, we are confident we can continue to make progress against this ever-changing threat.”

YouTube also wrote in the post that it is hiring more people to help review and enforce company policies, and will continue to invest in technical resources to keep pace with such issues and address them responsibly.

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