Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has teamed up with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) for a series of experiments that will test how digital advertising tools can help counter extremism on social media.
The main goal of the effort is to determine the kind of targeting that will speak to potential recruits and sympathizers before they even become “radicalized”.
“Counter Radicalization” Initiatives
Over the course of three weeks, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter users in the US, UK, and Pakistan had been exposed for about 1.60 million times to three anti-extremism campaigns. Collectively, during the period, the video campaigns had nearly 379,000 views. Once Alphabet, Facebook, and Twitter have unveiled the most efficient method to target potential recruits and sympathizers, they will immediately proceed to rolling out the model around the world.
The counter radicalization project is spearheaded by Yasmin Green at Alphabet Jigsaw.
The initiatives of the technology giants are geared toward preventing extremist and terrorist groups from recruiting members and generating sympathies globally through prominent social media platforms. The companies aim to protect their users, especially the millennials, from being vulnerable and eventually lured to such terrorist activities online.
Groups of radicalized individuals have conducted various attacks over the past few months, killing hundreds of innocent people across the US, Europe, and Asia. The most recent and prominent attacks included those in France and the state of Florida. According to officials, online media have played a crucial role in the said attacks. This is why technology giants like Alphabet, Facebook, and Twitter, boasting with millions of daily active users (DAUs) on their platforms worldwide, is forced to act effectively in light of these fatal events. Given the rapid growth of terrorist presence online, Susan Benesch, Harvard University Berkman Klein Center faculty associate, believes that the efforts must be collective. Benesch explained that contents are all over the digital landscape that even if a platform successfully rids itself of such, they can still be present in other platforms.
Nu Wexler, Twitter spokesperson, noted that Twitter has also collaborated with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and People Against Violent Extremism (PAVE) as part of its pursuit against violent terrorism.
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