YouTube and Meta want to expand the fight against online extremism

YouTube and Meta want to expand the fight against online extremism

(Reuters) – Big tech companies on Thursday pledged to take further steps to combat online extremism by removing more violent content and boosting media literacy among young users at a summit at the White House.

Platforms like Youtube, a subsidiary of Alphabet, and Facebook, a subsidiary of Meta Platforms, have come under fire for years for allowing hate speech, misinformation, and violent rhetoric to thrive on their services.

Earlier Thursday, Joe Biden called on Americans to fight racism and extremism during a summit at the White House.

YouTube said it will expand its extremism policy to remove content that glorifies acts of violence.

The video-streaming site already bans incitement to violence, but videos promoting militiamen involved in the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol show flaws in their existing policies.

In a report released in May, the Tech Transparency Project Information Center said it had found 435 pro-militia videos on YouTube, including 85 posted since the Jan. 6 attack. Some of these videos included training tips, including how to conduct guerrilla-style ambushes.

YouTube spokesman Jack Malon declined to say if the platform would change its approach to this type of content under the new policy, but said the update allows it to expand its use of the law.

YouTube also said it would launch a media literacy campaign to teach young people to recognize manipulative tactics used to spread misinformation.

Microsoft has announced plans to make a more affordable, basic version of its tools available to schools and small organizations to help them prevent violence.

Meta announced he will be collaborating with researchers at the Center for Terrorism, Extremism and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

(Reporting Sheila Dang in Dallas and Katie Paul in Palo Alto; French version Alizée Degorce, editing by Kate Entringer)


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