according to a report Financial Times (opens in a new tab)Google has been developing a tool that could help small businesses, such as startups, who might not have the resources to do so, moderate extremist material.
The internal project, run by Google’s Jigsaw unit tasked with addressing challenges to open societies, was developed with the UN-backed Counter Terrorism Technology Group.
Google said the initiative was designed to help moderators detect and remove potentially illegal content on sites, including racist and other hate speech.
Google against terrorism
The project was made possible by a database of terrorist projects provided by the Global Internet Forum, created by a collection of tech giants including Google, Meta, Microsoft and Twitter.
It is specifically designed to support smaller companies that cannot afford the resources needed to effectively audit, whether it is a large workforce or expensive AI tools.
Such a tool promises to be a valuable tool in an era when extremists banned from major networks opt for smaller platforms to express their views. It could also serve as a safeguard for companies responding to the EU’s Digital Services Act and the U.K.’s upcoming online safety bill, which would penalize companies for failing to remove such content.
For now, it appears it will operate on an opt-in basis, meaning companies whose primary intent is to hide such information will continue to do so even in the face of possible fines.
Two (unnamed) companies are believed to be testing the code later this year, suggesting a full rollout will be some time away.
Elsewhere, Meta has launched its own tool called Hasher-Matcher-Actioner (HMA). Like Jigsaw’s project, it aims to prevent the spread of hateful content and builds on the platform’s existing video and photo content moderation tools.